Indian stocks rose for a third day after Wipro (WPRO) Ltd. reported profit that beat estimates and as crude traded in New York had its first weekly gain since November.
Wipro, the third-biggest software exporter, rallied the most in more than five years and HCL Technologies Ltd. (HCLT) headed for a three-month high after the company said its board would consider a plan to issue free shares. Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), owner of the world’s largest refining complex, rose for a third day. Axis Bank Ltd. (AXSB) increased to a record.
The S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) gained 0.6 percent to 28,280 at 10:48 a.m. in Mumbai, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) increased 0.3 percent amid a rebound in oil. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi may announce a 550 billion-euro ($ 635 billion) bond-purchase program on Jan. 22, according to a Bloomberg survey. The Sensex last week had its biggest weekly jump in more than two months after Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan cut borrowing costs in an unscheduled move.
“Markets have stabilized globally and we should have the ECB quantitative easing today or tomorrow,” Ajay Srivastava, managing director of Dimensions Consulting Pvt., told Bloomberg TV India today. “A benign international environment and a very aggressive local environment is a potent combination. We should get at least 1 percent to 2 percent rate cut in 2015.”
Wipro jumped 7.1 percent, the most since May 2009, after the company reported a net income of 21.9 billion rupees after trading ended on Jan. 16. That exceeded the 21.6-billion rupee estimate of 35 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.
Reliance jumped 1.3 percent to 881.1 rupees, erasing an intraday loss of 1.3 percent. The company reported its first profit decline in nine quarters after markets hours on Jan. 16 as the oil’s rout drove down the value of stockpiles and pared its refining margin.
Axis Bank increased 2.3 percent to an all-time high. The stock soared 93 percent last year and was the top performer on the Sensex. Third-quarter net income climbed 18 percent to 19 billion rupees, beating the 18.7 billion estimated by analysts, the company reported Jan. 15.
Four out of five Sensex members that have so far announced results for the December quarter have beaten or matched analyst estimates. Profits at 67 percent of the 30 Sensex firms beat or matched estimates in the September quarter, versus 46 percent in the three months ended June and 60 percent in March, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“We are not expecting too much of a great earnings season this quarter,” Prakash Diwan, a director at Altamount Capital Management Pvt., told Bloomberg TV India today. “At the same time, stocks are not getting punished for weak earnings.”
Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUVR), the biggest home-products maker, may say its profit climbed to 10.8 billion rupees, according to the median estimate of 22 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Net income was 10.6 billion rupees a year earlier. The stock fell 1.4 percent, paring this year’s gains to 22 percent.
Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) advanced 1.4 percent, a fourth day of gains. Aluminum producer Hindalco Industries Ltd. (HNDL), rose 1.3 percent, ending a three-day, 8.7 percent decline. Sesa Sterlite Ltd., the biggest copper producer, climbed 1 percent.
The Sensex is valued at 15.6 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s multiple of 10.6. Global investors bought a net $ 274 million of local shares on Jan. 15, paring this year’s outflows to $ 41.3 million. Foreigners had bought $ 16 billion of stocks last year.
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