Sensex edges higher, more volatility seen ahead

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 18, 2012 04:22 hrs

The BSE Sensex edged higher on Wednesday as recently-hit stocks such as Infosys recovered, while Cairn India and HDFC rose on market talk index provider MSCI will increase the weighting of the two by its November review.

However sentiment remained largely cautious with the recent period of volatility expected to continue as more companies line up to report their earnings, including ACC and Ambuja Cements tomorrow.

Corporate earnings and the Reserve Bank of India's policy review on October 30 are seen as the next big triggers for markets, given continued concerns about the outlook for economic growth and the continued threat of sovereign rating downgrades.

“Given the recent rally and most participants expecting GDP growth of 5.5-6 per cent, what market needs is earnings support,” said Aneesh Srivastava, chief investment officer at IDBI Federal Life Insurance. “But the way the political environment and interest rates are today, it will be difficult for markets to substantially move ahead,” he added.

The BSE Sensex rose 0.18 per cent, or 33.07 points, to 18,610.77 points. The Nifty rose 0.22 per cent, or 12.25 points, to 5,660.25 points.

Recently battered shares recovered on Wednesday. Infosys rose 0.6 per cent after its shares had fallen seven per cent in the previous three sessions after the technology services provider disappointed investors with its earnings outlook. Larsen & Toubro gained 1.3 per cent after falling 2.9 per cent in the previous three sessions.

Also gaining on Wednesday, Housing Development Finance Corp rose 1.2 per cent while Cairn India gained 1.8 per cent.

A source at MSCI told Reuters the weighting of both stocks are expected to change by later this year, attributing the reasons to recent block deals and private placements by the two companies.

Carlyle Group raised $841 million by selling its remaining 3.7 per cent stake in HDFC, while Cairn Energy CLE.L raised about $922 million by selling an eight per cent stake in Cairn India.

Drug maker Lupin rose 2.9 per cent after receiving US Food and Drug Administration approval for generic Avapro tablets for treating hypertension. However, cement makers ACC fell 1.25 per cent, while Ambuja Cements dropped three per cent after TV news channel ET Now reported the companies may provide a 2 per cent royalty on sales to parent company Holcim, citing unnamed sources.

ACC declined to comment on the report, while Ambuja did not respond to questions from Reuters. The two companies are set to post earnings results on Thursday.

Reliance Industries fell 0.9 per cent on expectations the energy conglomerate will not be able to sustain a rebound in refining margins in the July-September quarter, and on concerns about valuations after a recent rally.

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