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Wall Street record run lifts Indian shares, Reliance up ahead of earnings

(Article originally published here)

MUMBAI (NewsRise) — Indian shares rose, helped by gains in heavyweight Reliance Industries ahead of its quarterly earnings. Overnight advances on Wall Street also boosted Asian equity markets.

The benchmark BSE Sensex added 1.1%, or 348.23 points, to close at 32,182.22, while the broader Nifty 50 ended up 1.1%, or 111.60 points, at 10,096.40. Reliance Industries rose 3.8%, contributing most to gains on the benchmark gauge, ahead of its second-quarter earnings on Friday. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries added 2.6%, while smaller rival Lupin climbed 1.4%.

India’s largest software services exporter Tata Consultancy Services advanced 1.9% ahead of its second-quarter earnings later Thursday. Infosys, the nation’s second-largest software company, fell 0.4%, while Wipro added 0.6%. The three companies are expected to report weaker profit and revenue in July-September, as demand for outsourcing services remains sluggish in the U.S., their biggest market.

Motilal Oswal, a Mumbai-based brokerage, expects Reliance Industries to report a second-quarter standalone net profit at 88.2 billion ($1.34 billion) rupees, up 15% from a year earlier, driven by higher refining margins.

Indian equities have rallied more than 20% this year, tracking advances in global markets. The Nikkei Asia300 Index added 0.7% on Thursday, as the three major U.S. indexes rose to record levels overnight.

“Going ahead, markets are expected to be volatile, and could correct 1%-2% next week on subdued earnings,” said G. Chokkalingam, founder and managing Director Equinomics.

India’s September retail inflation data is due later Thursday. A Reuters poll predicts inflation to have risen by 3.60% on year against 3.36% in August.

On Thursday, 25 of the 30 Sensex constituents ended lower, while overall advancing issues beat declining ones 1,706 to 962 and 130 remained unchanged.

Sun Pharmaceutical added 2.6% to 539.40 rupees after the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave an establishment inspection report for a facility in western India, clearing it of all outstanding inspections.

IndusInd Bank advanced 1.5% after reporting a 25% increase in net interest income for the September quarter and a stable net interest margin of 4%.

Indiabulls Real Estate added 3.1% to 222.15 rupees after saying it will buy about 42.7% of Singapore-listed Indiabulls Property Investment Trust for S$0.90 a share.

Jet Airways advanced 1% to 486.25 rupees. The carrier has agreed to buy 72 Boeing 737 Max aircraft and may purchase another 75, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the company.

Voltas, a maker of air conditioners, gained 2.4% to 535.20 rupees. Jefferies retained its “buy” rating on the stock with a price target of 660 rupees, citing a strong on-year uptick in sales on the back of festive season demand.

Bharti Airtel lost 0.8% to 400.05 rupees. CLSA kept its “underperform” rating on the stock with a target of 430 rupees. Bharti Infratel jumped 5.4% to 432.55 rupees. CLSA maintained its “buy” call on the stock, saying it is upbeat on the company due to the potential merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers.

–Nivedita Naidu