The Sensex rose on Wednesday, led by gains in Bharti Airtel after the mobile carrier raised its call charges, but sentiments remain constrained ahead of key company results and a critical the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decision on interest rates next week.
The government is taking a series of steps to maintain confidence in the economy, assuring investors it is committed to fiscal prudence in the coming budget and brushing aside threats of a downgrade, as it eyes growth of 5.7 per cent in the current financial year.
Larsen & Toubro earnings will be on investors' radar on Thursday. The earnings are expected to remain subdued but management commentary on order guidance will be important. Maruti Suzuki earnings on Friday and RBI's rate meeting next week are the next big events being watched.
The BSE Sensex rose 0.23 per cent, or 45.04 points, to end at 20,026.
The broader Nifty rose 0.1 per cent, or 5.8 points, to end at 6,054.30.
Shares in Bharti Airtel gained 4.46 per cent after the company raised its voice call charges to account for rising costs, a move that is likely to boost its fourth-quarter earnings.
ZEE Entertainment shares gained 5.51 per cent after the company reported higher-than-expected margins and net profit, which stood at Rs 193 crore in the December quarter, led by higher subscription revenues.
Blue chip companies that have reported better earnings so far also gained. ITC shares rose 1.25 per cent, while Reliance Industries Ltd gained 0.33 per cent.
Sun TV shares rose 3.56 per cent after the company reported a higher-than-estimated December-quarter net profit at Rs 190 crore.
Shares of FMCG major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) tumbled 4.34 per cent, extending yesterday's 2.8 per cent loss, after the company said it decided to increase the rate of royalty payment to parent Unilever Plc. A number of brokerages downgraded the stock after the company's statement .