Sensex ends up; IT, airline shares gain
MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex and Nifty ended higher on Monday, led by gains in export-driven technology shares such as Infosys due to rupee's weakness versus dollar, while reports of a stake sale to Etihad Airways buoyed Jet Airways stocks.
However, the market is still cautious and focusing on the outcome of Greek aid negotiations as euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund will meet later to try to unfreeze the second bailout package for Greece.
Analyst are hoping the government will be able to manage some reforms as there no choice left given the current account deficit, given both the houses of the parliament were adjourned on the third day of winter session.
"There are strong expectations from the winter session. At least FDI in multi brand should go through otherwise market will remain stagnant till next RBI meeting," said G. Chokkalingam, executive director & chief investment officer, Centrum Wealth Management.
The benchmark BSE Sensex ended up 0.16 percent, or 30.44 points, to end at 18,537.01.
The 50-share Nifty also rose 0.17 percent, or 9.30 points, to 5635.90.
Struggling Indian carriers Jet Airways (JET.NS) and SpiceJet (SPJT.BO) are in talks with Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways and Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd (AIRA.KL) to sell minority stakes, a senior government official with direct knowledge of the talks said.
Jet Airways shares rose 10.9 percent while SpiceJet ended 13 percent higher.
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (GLSM.NS) rose to its maximum daily limit of 20 percent, after GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) said it plans to buy up to an additional 31.8 percent stake in its arm for about $940 million.
Export-driven technology shares rose following weakness in the rupee. Infosys (INFY.NS) rose 1.7 percent, while Tata Consultancy Services (TCS.NS) ended up 0.4 percent.
Shares in United Spirits (UNSP.NS) gained 3.2 percent after Nomura upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'neutral' and raised its target price to 2,200 rupees from 675 rupees, advocating a structural re-rating after a deal with Diageo Plc (DGE.L).
However, among stocks that fell, shares in state-run Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCPR.NS) ended 20 percent lower, to their maximum daily limit for a second day after government's stake sale.
The government raised 8.1 billion rupees by selling shares of Hindustan Copper on Friday, kick-starting a stalled divestment programme that is crucial to reining in a ballooning fiscal deficit.
Shares in Mahindra & Mahindra (MAHM.NS) fell 3.3 percent after reports that the automaker entered into a takeover deal with an Italian private equity fund for 50 percent of British luxury car maker Aston Martin.
Brokerage Edelweiss said in a note Aston Martin would require significant investments in research and development, and benefits of technology transfer to the Indian tractor and utility vehicle maker's product portfolio was "questionable" given little similarity between portfolios.
(Additional reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi; Editing by Anand Basu)
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