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Economy

India stocks hit record highs as carmakers jump on upbeat sales

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Indian stocks rose to a record on Tuesday as Maruti Suzuki India led advances among automakers following gains in July vehicle sales.

The BSE Sensex rose 0.2%, or 60.23 points, to 32,575.17, while the broader NSE index added 0.4%, or 37.55, to close at 10,114.65. Maruti, India's largest carmaker, rose 2% after reporting a 22% increase in July passenger vehicle sales. Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra also advanced.

Drug maker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories rose 1.7%. State Bank of India, the nation's largest, lost 1.2% after a 4.5% jump in the previous session. Punjab National Bank declined 2.9% and Bank of Baroda fell 1.5% after adding more than 2% on Monday. 

"The market is consolidating after recent highs," said Sundar S., head of fundamental research at Choice Broking. "There is value buying in various sectors such as IT and pharma."

India's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee's two-day review concludes Wednesday, with markets expecting a 25 basis-point rate cut after the nation's inflation cooled to record lows. 

"We may see volatility tomorrow because of the monetary policy meet, and markets may go in for a correction if the committee takes a different stance," Sundar said.

Most indices in rest of Asia edged higher on Tuesday, with the Nikkei Asia300 rising 0.4%, spurred by gains in crude oil prices and an upbeat private survey of Chinese manufacturing activity.

On Tuesday, 20 of the 30 Sensex constituents ended lower, while overall declining issues beat advancing ones 1656 to 1030, while 153 remained unchanged.

Tata Motors added 0.54% after reporting a 13% increase in July sales, while utility vehicle maker Mahindra climbed 1.8% following a 5.8% gain in sales. Two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp advanced 1.9%.

Bharat Electronics gained 1.1% to 180.90 rupees after the defense equipment maker reported a three-fold increase in June-quarter profit.

InterGlobe Aviation, which owns India's top airline IndiGo, ended little changed after reporting a 37% jump in first-quarter net profit.

Tech Mahindra gained 4.6% to 402.80 rupees after the company posted a 6.7% on-year rise in net profit for the June quarter. Goldman Sachs raised its target price on the stock to 505 rupees from 483 rupees and reiterated its 'Buy' rating on the stock.

Consumer goods maker Marico lost 2.2% after reporting a 12% decline in net profit for the June quarter.

--Dhanya Ann Thoppil

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