Indian shares provisionally ended higher for a second session on Thursday, led by gains in auto shares on higher-than-expected October vehicle sales, while technology firm Wipro Ltd rose after saying it will separate its non-IT units to focus on outsourcing.
Reliance Industries Ltd recovered from a steep fall to end up 0.2 per cent after a heavy share buy-back by the company. It fell as much as 2.1 per cent after anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal yesterday accused the energy conglomerate of hoarding natural gas and exerting pressure on the government to favour it.
Shares also found support from HSBC's India manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI), which nudged up in October to 52.9 from September's 10-month low of 52.8, implying the sector was showing signs of stabilisation, with a pick-up in orders.
"The earnings season has been mixed till now and no clear trend has emerged," said Kaushik Dani, a fund manager at Peerless Mutual Fund.
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) benchmark Sensex rose 0.3 per cent, or 56.32 points, to end at 18,561.70 points. The National Stock Exchange Nifty rose 0.45 per cent, or 25.35 points, to 5,645.05.
Markets will closely await the outcome of the US October ADP national employment index, due at 05:45 pm IST and US weekly initial jobless claims, for the week ended October 27, due at 6 pm IST.
The country's third-largest software services provider, Wipro Ltd, on Thursday said it would fold all its non-IT businesses into a new company and focus exclusively on information technology. Wipro shares ended up three per cent, after Chief Financial Officer Suresh Senapaty said profit margins were expected to improve after the demerger.
Shares of Titan Industries surged 10 per cent, a day after the company posted better-than-expected operating profit margins for the July-September quarter, although its net profit was in line with estimates.
ICICI Securities said it expected Titan to post improved earnings in the second half of the financial year.
Telecom operator Bharti Airtel's shares ended up 4.26 per cent on hopes of a price increase and lower competition due to higher spectrum prices, said traders.
Mahindra & Mahindra gained 1.74 per cent after reporting a rise in sales of 29 per cent in October.
Tata Motors shares closed up five per cent after reporting lower-than-expected six per cent rise in vehicle sales, excluding JLR sales, in October. Godrej Properties rose 3.8 per cent, largely driven by a significantly higher Ebitda growth. The company's net profit in the September quarter surged 67.51 per cent to Rs 32.58 crore, higher than what the market expected.
Among shares that fell were ITC Ltd, which dropped 1.15 per cent, while Hindustan Unilever Ltd declined 1.67 per cent on concerns the government might implement standard packaging regulation for consumer products that might impact margins, dealers said.