India stocks rise for 3rd day on upbeat earnings, monsoon bets
MUMBAI (NewsRise) - Stocks in India extended gains for a third consecutive day and hit a record on Wednesday, as foreign investors stepped up purchases on better-than-expected earnings and bets of above-normal annual monsoon rains.
The benchmark BSE Sensex index advanced 0.3%, or 76.17 points, to 30,658.77, while the broader NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.1% higher, or 13.50 points, to 9,525.75.
Foreign portfolio investors have net purchased $582.28 million worth of local stocks this month until Tuesday, against a net sale of $344.79 million in April.
"Inflows, domestic and foreign, have attributed to the high liquidity, and markets are quite buoyant," said R.K. Gupta, managing director at Taurus Asset Management. "Earnings from most top companies have been above expectations, and the monsoon is also forecast to do well."
Seventeen of the 30 Sensex constituents ended higher, while overall declining issues beat advancing ones 1,531 to 1,269 and 172 stocks were unchanged.
Market participants said the focus would now turn to earnings from top state-run lenders. Bank of Baroda, part of the Nifty index, and State Bank of India, the country's biggest lender by assets, are scheduled to detail fourth-quarter earnings later this week.
Tata Steel surged 8% to 493.35 rupees after it struck a deal to help end a long-standing pension standoff in the U.K. that would also make way for the sale of the company's European operations, including the remaining British business, to Germany's ThyssenKrupp.
After market-hours on Tuesday, Tata Steel reported a surprise loss in the fourth quarter owing to a one-time hit on account of a settlement payout to its British pension scheme. Analysts said excluding the one-off item, the company's operating results were better-than-expected.
Tata Steel's earnings lifted demand for metal shares. Copper and aluminum producer Hindalco Industries rose 1% to 198.35 rupees, while JSW Steel gained 2.5% to 206.65 rupees. After market-hours, JSW reported a more than threefold increase in its January-March profit to 10.09 billion rupees ($157.3 million).
Consumer goods maker Hindustan Unilever ended 0.8% higher at 1,006.35 rupees. After market hours, the company reported a better-than-expected 6.2% on-year rise in January-March net profit.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories gained 0.3% to 2,731.95 rupees as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its proposal to launch Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome Injections.
Some of the recent outperformers saw consolidation in Wednesday's trade. Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. declined 0.9% to 1,552.65 rupees while Reliance Industries ended 0.3% lower at 1,352.40 rupees.
Elsewhere in Asia, China's Shanghai Composite index lost 0.3% and Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.5%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended down 0.2% while South Korea's Kospi index lost 0.1%.
--Dhanya Ann Thoppil