Indian shares edge higher in countdown ahead of budget
* BSE ends 0.17 pct up; NSE ends 0.18 pct higher * India's 2013/14 budget to be most austere in years * India's Jet shares fall after Etihad says revising deal By Manoj Dharra MUMBAI, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged higher on Monday, marginally recovering after hitting their 2013 lows in the previous session, as recent underperformers such as Larsen & Toubro rose, while DLF gained after an executive told analysts earnings would improve. Shares are expected to be range-bound until the 2013/14 budget is unveiled on Feb. 28, in a critical test of whether the government will announce a plan to contain the fiscal and current account deficits. India's finance minister plans to cut the public spending target for fiscal 2013/14 by up to 10 percent from this year's original target, government sources told Reuters, in what would be the most austere budget in recent history as he tries to avert a sovereign credit downgrade. Such a plan could spark gains in domestic shares. After surging 25.7 percent in 2012, the benchmark BSE index has stalled and is up only 0.38 percent so far this year. "Earnings season has been not bad but not good either, and now eyes are on budget which has to be responsible as exports are not looking good," G. Chokkalingam, executive director and chief investment officer, Centrum Wealth Management, said. "You are dependent only on FII money to support current account deficit, so finance minister has to favour markets and economy, there is no other choice," he added. The benchmark BSE index rose 0.17 percent, or 32.93 points, to end at 19,501.08, recovering from its lowest close since Dec. 31, 2012, hit on Friday. The broader NSE index rose 0.18 percent, or 10.80 points, to end at 5,898.20. The gains were led by a pick-up in shares where selling was seen as overdone. Larsen & Toubro Ltd gained 1.7 percent after having fallen 6.35 percent as of Friday's close. State Bank of India gained 1.3 percent. Its shares have fallen 8.4 percent so far this month as on Friday's close, after Oct-Dec earnings disappointed. Among other gainers, shares in DLF Ltd rose 5 percent, after vice chairman Rajiv Singh indicated earnings would improve and said net debt would fall, according to analysts who attended the company's post-results analyst meeting on Friday. Public sector companies MMTC Ltd and Hindustan Copper Ltd gained 8.2 percent and 3.7 percent respectively on hopes of good demand in the upcoming stake sales by the government. The government is yet to provide a time frame for the stake sales. India will allow wireless broadband airwave holders to provide voice services if they pay an additional $306 million, a senior government official said on Monday, a move likely to boost billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd . Reliance shares ended 0.2 percent higher. However, Jet Airways fell 7.65 percent, a day after the chairman of Etihad Airways said the Abu Dhabi-based carrier needed to revise the terms of a pending deal to buy a stake in the Indian airline. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd fell 1.16 percent and Infosys Ltd shares ended 0.3 percent lower on profit taking. They had gained in the previou session on hopes earnings will look up in fiscal 2014 on the back of an improving global economy. For additional stocks on the move double click FACTORS TO WATCH * Yen weakens as Japan signals no change to yen policy * Brent steadies below $118, global growth hopes support * Dlr up after G20, stocks ease on growth concern * Foreign institutional investor flows * For closing rates of Indian ADRs ASIA-PACIFIC STOCK MARKETS: Pan-Asia........ Japan....... S.Korea... S.E. Asia....... Hong Kong... Taiwan.... Australia/NZ.... India....... China..... OTHER MARKETS: Wall Street .... Gold ....... Currency.. Eurostocks..... Oil ........ JP bonds... ADR Report ..... LME metals. US bonds.. Stocks News US.. Stocks News Europe DIARIES & DATA: Indian Data Watch Asia earnings diary U.S. earnings diary European diary Indian diary Wall Street Week Ahead Eurostocks Week Ahead TOP NEWS: For top Asian company news, double click on: U.S. company news European company news Forex news Global Economy news Technology news Telecoms news Media news Banking news Politics/General Asia Macro data <ECONASIA (Additional reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.
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The government made a push on Wednesday to bolster its strained finances, offering to sell a stake in miner Coal India and more mobile phone airwaves as it aimed to deliver on a promise to trim its fiscal deficit. Full Article