Most Indian stocks rose, with the benchmark gauge headed for a weekly advance, as metalmakers and consumer companies rose after the central bank cut borrowing costs in an unscheduled move yesterday.
Sesa Sterlite Ltd., the largest copper maker, climbed the most in two weeks, while Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUVR), the biggest home-products maker, increased to a record. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (MM), a tractor maker, rose for a second day. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS), India’s most valuable software exporter, slid after reporting profit that missed estimates.
Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the S&P BSE 100 Index, which added 0.1 percent. The S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) was little changed at 28,094.52 at 12:14 p.m. in Mumbai, after changing direction at least six times. The Reserve Bank of India reduced its main rate as a slowdown in inflation offered scope to boost an economy growing at little more than half the pace of four years ago.
“Global factors are a constant worry for investors but our market will not go down much because macros are improving and the RBI has signalled the start of the easing cycle,” R.K. Gupta, managing director of Taurus Asset Management Co., which has about $ 600 million in assets, said by phone from New Delhi.
Asian shares slid with U.S. index futures as the fallout from Switzerland abandoning the franc’s cap extended into a second day. Copper is heading for its biggest weekly loss in three years, while oil is set for the longest weekly losing streak since 1986.
Sesa Sterlite rose 1 percent and Hindustan Zinc Ltd. surged 3.4 percent, the most since Dec. 4. The S&P BSE India Metal Index added 0.5 percent.
Hindustan Unilever rose 1.3 percent, taking this year’s rally to 23 percent, the top performer on the Sensex. Mahindra increased 0.9 percent, adding to yesterday’s 3.3 percent gain.
Tata Consultancy declined 1.6 percent. Net income rose 5.1 percent to 54.4 billion rupees ($ 876 million) in the quarter ended December, the Mumbai-based company said yesterday. That compares with the 54.8 billion-rupee median of 37 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Wipro Ltd. (WPRO), the third-biggest software exporter, may say today that net income rose 7 percent to 21.6 billion rupees in the three months through December, according to a Bloomberg survey of 35 analysts. The shares fell 0.6 percent.
Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), owner of the world’s largest refining complex, may say quarterly profit declined 8 percent to 50.9 billion rupees, according to the median estimate of 23 analysts. Its shares rose 0.2 percent.
Axis Bank Ltd. may say net income rose 16 percent to 18.65 billion rupees. The shares advanced 0.8 percent. State Bank of India fell 1.4 percent, while ICICI Bank Ltd. (ICICIBC) lost 0.6 percent.
International investors sold a net $ 3.8 million of local shares on Jan. 14, extending this month’s outflow to $ 315.3 million. Foreign funds bought $ 16 billion of stocks last year.
The Sensex is climbed 2.1 percent so far this year and is valued at 15.5 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s multiple of 11.3.
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