Consumer stocks surge; HUL, ITC hit record highs

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 10:25 hrs

Consumer goods shares such as Hindustan Unilever rose to record highs as investors are lured by growth prospects and their more defensive nature in an uncertain market environment.

Hindustan Unilever ended with gains of nearly 10 percent after hitting an all-time high of 699.35 rupees, while ITC rose 2.31 percent, marking its record high at 370.40 rupees.

United Spirits Ltd gains 0.61 percent after touching an all-time high of 2739.35 rupees, while Dabur India Ltd ended up 4.18 percent after earlier hitting its record-high at 167.90 rupees.

Rajiv Jain whose $9 billion Virtus Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund holds stakes in ITC, HUL, told Reuters in an interview that he shares concerns about India. However, his bets are mainly consumer products firms as they generate some of the fastest earnings growth in the world on the back of a growing middle class.

"These are expensive defensives. Tactically there may be more upside but caution should be exercised at such levels," said G. Chokkalingam, executive director and chief investment officer at Centrum Wealth Management.

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