Indian stocks swung between gains and losses. Tata Steel Ltd. (TATA) jumped to a one-month high after profit surged, while Financial Technologies India Ltd. (FTECH) plunged to the lowest level in nine years.
Tata Steel, India’s biggest producer, advanced 5.1 percent, the biggest gainer on the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index. Tata Motors Ltd. (TTMT), the owner of Jaguar & Land Rover, climbed to a two-month high. Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. (HDFC) fell the most in a week.
The Sensex rose 0.2 percent to 19,271.40 at 10:06 a.m. in Mumbai after swinging between gains and losses at least six times. The gauge rose 1.5 percent yesterday, its steepest gain since July 11. The government increased import duties on gold, platinum and silver yesterday, part of measures to trim a record current-account deficit and support the rupee after it weakened to a record low this month. The central bank tightened lenders’ access to cash last month, and has held the benchmark repurchase rate at its last two policy meetings, citing persistent inflation risks.
Tata Steel reported its biggest quarterly earnings in two years after the market closed yesterday. Group net income climbed to 11.4 billion rupees ($ 186 million) in the three months ended June, from 5.98 billion rupees a year earlier. That compared with the 3.05 billion-rupee median estimate of 19 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
Financial Technologies, which controls the nation’s biggest commodity futures exchange, fell 16 percent, heading for the lowest close since December 2004.
International investors bought a net $ 68 million of Indian (SENSEX) shares on Aug. 12, data from the regulator showed yesterday. That took this year’s inflow to $ 12.53 billion, the second-biggest among 10 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg. Foreigners pulled $ 3 billion from stocks and bonds last month, leaving the rupee vulnerable to a current-account gap that widened to a record 4.8 percent of GDP in the year ended March.
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