Sensex snaps eight-day losing streak; ONGC gains

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 12, 2013 14:22 hrs

By Abhishek Vishnoi

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex rose on Tuesday, ending an eight-session losing streak that had marked its longest since May 2011, as ONGC gained after quarterly earnings beat estimates, while Tata Motors rose ahead of its results later this week.

However, a recovery from what some analysts call the oversold region came with limited confidence ahead of the presentation of the 2013/14 budget late this month and doubts about whether the RBI would cut interest rates aggressively this year.

Data on Tuesday showed industrial output unexpectedly contracted in December, but January consumer price-based inflation remained above 10 percent, creating more uncertainty about whether the Reserve Bank of India would focus on slowing growth or on sticky inflation.

All eyes are now on January WPI data, due on Thursday, which is expected to have eased to its lowest level in three years, due to a smaller rise in prices of manufactured goods, according to a Reuters poll.

"People are waiting for the budget. Inflation dynamics is still the same as it used to be a month back with CPI at 10.8 percent. In short, concern on inflation continues to be there," said Dhananjay Sinha, co-head, institutional research, at Emkay Global.

The Sensex rose 0.52 percent, or 100.47 points, to end at 19,561.04, marking its first session of gain in nine.

The Nifty rose 0.42 percent, or 24.65 points, to end at 5,922.50, closing above the psychologically important 5,900 level.

Among gainers, shares in state-run ONGC rose 3.8 percent a day after its October-December net profit beat market expectations.

Shares in Tata Motors rose 2.6 percent, marking its second day of gains on expectations the auto maker would post on Thursday better-than-expected results for the December quarter.

Coal India shares rose 2 percent ahead of its December quarter earnings on Wednesday.

Exide Industries Ltd shares gained 1.4 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to "buy" from "underperform," given expectations of an "an imminent increase in pricing power in automotive batteries.

Among stocks that fell, Unitech dropped 17.6 percent -- its biggest daily percentage fall since January 7, 2009.

The falls came after the Central Bureau of Investigation said it is looking into whether a prosecutor for the agency discussed a probe into alleged corruption in the allocation of mobile phone airwaves with one of the people being investigated.

CNN-IBN TV and the Times of India reported that CBI senior prosecutor A.K. Singh is suspected to have discussed the case with Unitech Managing Director Sanjay Chandra in a recorded conversation. Unitech strongly denied those reports.

Shares of project finance provider IFCI Ltd ended 2.5 percent lower after reporting a 33 percent fall in December net profit at 763.1 million rupees.

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd fell 3.3 percent after reporting a 13 percent fall in December quarter net profit at 8.67 billion rupees.

(Additional reporting by Manoj Dharra; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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