Indian shares up; energy firms rally on fuel hike reports

Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:21pm IST

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* BSE ends 0.63 pct up; NSE gains 0.65 pct
    * Bharti Infratel slumps on debut
    * July-September current account data on Monday eyed

    By Manoj Dharra
    MUMBAI, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher on
Friday led by gains in oil firms including ONGC following media
reports the petroleum ministry has proposed gradually raising
diesel prices.
    Domestic gains were in line with Asian shares that gained on
Friday as investors continued to eye the U.S. "fiscal cliff" 
negotiations amid news lawmakers will meet on Sunday in a final
attempt to hammer out a deal. 
    However, Bharti Infratel  slumped in its
debut after raising about $760 million in India's biggest IPO in
two years, weighed down by a cautious outlook for mobile tower
operators. 
    Investors are looking forward to India's current account
data for July-September due on Monday amid expectations it will
show a record high deficit, sending the balance of payments into
negative territory.
    "Trend of the market will be based on events that are
unfolding in next 15 days such as fiscal ciff resolution from
U.S., RBI policy action and earnings season that starts from
mid-Jan," said Deven Choksey, CEO and MD at K R Choksey. 
    The benchmark BSE index rose 0.63 percent, or
121.04 points, to end at 19,444.84 points, gaining 1.05 percent
for the week, its first gain in three weeks. 
    The broader NSE index also added 0.65 percent, or
38.25 points, to end at 5,908.35.
    Despite an uneven share price performance in December,
foreign institutional investors have been strong buyers this
month, with inflows of over $4 billion bringing the total for
the year to around $24 billion.
    Energy conglomerate Reliance Industries rose 2.76
percent, posting its best single-day gain since Sept. 17, as the
stock was seen to have under-performed this year. 
    Reliance shares have gained 18 percent so far this year,
underperforming the 25.03 percent rise in the benchmark index.  
  
    Meanwhile, oil producers gained as well on media reports the
petroleum ministry has proposed a gradual rise in diesel prices,
by 1 rupee a litre every month over a 10-month period.
    Oil and Natural Gas Corp shares rose 2.6 percent, 
    Oil marketing companies also advanced, with Hindustan
Petroleum Corp Ltd ending up 4.23 percent, Indian Oil
Corp Ltd gaining 3 percent, and Bharat Petroleum Corp
Ltd rising 2.4 percent.    
    Fuel subsidies in India are borne by the government,
marketing and refining companies, as well as explorers.
    Wind turbine supplier Suzlon Energy gained 7.8
percent on media reports that lenders will meet on Friday to
discuss a loan restructuring package, dealers said.
    However, Bharti Infratel slumped 12.9 percent, although the
poor trading debut of the mobile tower operator is unlikely to
deter future offerings in India, bankers said, with strong
foreign fund bids expected to underpin the share market.  
    Some blue-chip banking shares ended lower on profit-taking,
tied to the squaring of books at the end of the year. The
banking sub-index has gained nearly 57 percent this
year, as of Thursday's close.
    HDFC Bank fell 0.4 percent, while State Bank of
India lost 0.4 percent.

 (Editing by Sunil Nair)
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