Business Standard

Nifty, Sensex gain on upbeat macro indicators; IT stocks climb


By Arnab Paul
(Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Thursday, in line with broader Asian markets as a dovish stance by the U.S. Federal Reserve boosted sentiment, while gains in ICICI Bank Ltd lifted both indexes after the lender posted an improvement in asset quality.
Asian stocks rose to a four-month high after the Fed Reserve kept interest rates steady, while also discarding promises of "further gradual increases" amid signs of slowing global growth.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan jumped 0.74 percent.
Investors shifted their focus to the ongoing talks between the United States and China, with hopes of bridging deep differences over Beijing's intellectual property and technology transfer practices and easing months-long tariff war.
Indian shares were on track to snap a multi-session losing run with top boost Reliance Industries Ltd climbing 2.2 percent and ICICI Bank trading 1 percent higher.
Despite a fall in quarterly profit, ICICI Bank said its asset quality had improved. On a separate note, an investigation into former Chief Executive Chanda Kochhar found she had violated internal bank policies and the bank will seek to revoke her financial entitlements.
Analysts also feel investors are bullish ahead of the union budget on Friday.
"I think there is an expectation of concession and swaps for markets and retail investors. I think the budget is going to be positive for the masses," said RK Gupta, managing director, Taurus Asset Management.
"But expect the markets to remain highly volatile until June."
The broader NSE Nifty was up 0.96 percent at 10,754, as of 0559 GMT, ahead of the F&O expiry later in the day, while the benchmark BSE Sensex was 1.17 percent higher at 36,007.02.
However, the overall sentiment was restrained when home loan provider Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd slumped 17 percent after sources told Reuters that the government had launched a probe into allegations of financial mismanagement against the company.
On Tuesday, a media report said Dewan diverted funds to shell companies to buy assets, among other things, though the company vehemently denied the allegations.
IT stocks were trading in the green, led by Infosys Ltd and Tech Mahindra Ltd, which were up 3 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.
Media stocks were sluggish, however, with Dish TV India and Zee Entertainment Ltd falling 4.8 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
Last week, a news report alleged that Zee's promoter Essel Group may figure in a probe linked to demonetisation-led deposits of 30 billion rupees ($422.54 million). Zee had denied the allegations.
($1 = 70.9990 Indian rupees)
(Reporting By Arnab Paul in BENGALURU, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 11:41 AM IST

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