Benchmark share indices were trading near their day highs in late morning trades on Thursday led by metals on encouraging China's services data and IT majors. At 11:30AM, the 30-share Sensex was up 254 points at 19,771 after touching a high of 19,771 and the 50-share Nifty was up 89 points at 5,869. Most Asian markets were trading firm after China’s non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index climbed in September to 55.4 from 53.9 in August. However, gains were capped as the continuation of the US federal government shutdown weighed on investor sentiment. The Shanghai Composite, Hang Seng, Nikkei were up 0.3-0.9% each while Straits Times was marginally down. The Indian rupee extend gains after the current account deficit (CAD) for the first quarter of the current fiscal (April-June) was in line with market expectations. At 11:14AM, the partially convertible rupee was trading at 61.96 per dollar against the Tuesday’s close of 62.46 on the Interbank Foreign Exchange. The BSE Metal index was the top gainer among the sectoral indices followed by Auto, IT, Bankex, Oil and Gas indices. TCS was up 4% at Rs 2,023 contributing the most to Sensex gains followed by Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and Tata Motors.
Other Sensex gainers include, L&T and Sun Pharma. Metal stocks firmed up on hopes that encouraging data from china would result in higher demand from China, the world's largest consumer of metals. Sesa Goa, Tata Steel, Hindalco and Jindal Steel were up 2-4% each. IT stocks continued to trade firm ahead of Infosys' second quarter earnings due to be released next week. Infosys was up 0.6% and Wipro gained 3%. Auto stocks firmed up on better-than-expected September sales numbers. Tata Motors was up 3%, Bajaj Auto gained 3.1%, Hero MotoCorp was up 2.7%, Mah & Mah was up 2% and Maruti Suzuki gained 1.2%. Among other shares, Tata Communications has surged 4% to Rs 211, extending its Tuesday’s rally, after the company said it is in exclusive talks with Vodacom for sale of Neotel, its South African subsidiary. In the broader markets, the BSE Mid-cap and Small-cap indices were up 1% each. Market breadth continues to remain strong with 1,263 gainers and 634 losers on the BSE.