Indian shares post biggest gains for month; caution remains

Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:45pm IST

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* BSE rises 0.7 pct; NSE rises 0.7 pct
    * Biggest daily gain since Jan. 25
    * Caution ahead of budget on Feb. 28

    By Manoj Dharra
    MUMBAI, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Indian shares posted their
biggest gains of the month on Tuesday, as investors picked up
software services exporters such as Infosys that have recently
under-performed and defensive shares such as Hindustan Unilever.
    Shares have recovered after hitting their yearly lows on
Friday, although the mood remains largely cautious ahead of the
2013/14 budget, to be unveiled on Feb. 28.
    Traders say a plan that seeks to narrow the country's fiscal
and current account deficits would be key in reviving share
markets that have largely fizzled out this month. 
    "Some game-changing reforms in area of deficit management is
expected from budget," said Deven Choksey, MD, KR Choksey
Securities, calling gains on Tuesday more liquidity-driven than
a genuine rally.
    The BSE index rose 0.69 percent, or 134.64 points
to end at 19,635.72, marking its biggest daily percentage gain
since Jan. 25, and a recovery after ending Friday at its lowest
close of the year.
    The 50-share NSE index rose 0.70 percent, or 41.50
points, to 5,939.70, also posting its biggest daily gain since
Jan. 25.
    Shares of software services exporters were among the day's
leading gainers on continued hopes earnings will improve in the
fiscal year starting in April on the back of an improving global
economy.
    Tata Consultancy Services Ltd rose 1.28 percent,
after falling 2.1 percent since hitting a record high on Feb.
14. 
    Infosys Ltd shares rose 1.45 percent after falling
1.1 percent over the previous two sessions compared with a flat
performance in the NSE index.
    Defensives shares that have under-performed markets this
year also gained.
    Hindustan Unilever Ltd gained 1.4 percent after
falling 10.4 percent this year as of Monday's close, while Cipla
Ltd rose 2.05 percent after falling 8.32 percent this
year. 
    Among other gainers, ACC Ltd rose 3 percent while
Ambuja Cements Ltd added 1.36 percent after
shareholders at each of the cement makers separately approved
paying technology fees to controlling stakeholder Holcim Ltd
 of 1 percent of net annual sales. 
    The approvals removed an uncertainty that had been weighing
on the Indian companies, as some investors had feared a
protracted process over a decision that had been unpopular with
shareholders.  
    Shares in DLF Ltd rose 3.5 percent, gaining for a
second session on rising hopes about a recovery in earnings and
lower net debt for the year after a company meeting with
analysts last week. 
    Hotel Leelaventure Ltd shares surged 10 percent,
after the company sold its IT park building in the city of
Chennai for 1.7 billion rupees ($31.38 million) to Reliance
Industries, which will help the hotel operator reduce
debt. 
    Shares in Kingfisher Airlines rose by the daily
limit of 5 percent after controlling stakeholder United
Breweries Holdings Ltd raised the amount it can lend
to the ailing carrier. 
    However, among decliners, Bharti Airtel Ltd shares
fell 2 percent, while Idea Cellular Ltd ended down
0.23 percent on fears of rising competition after wireless
broadband airwave holders were allowed to provide voice services
after paying an additional fee. 
    
      For additional stocks on the move double click     
  
    
 FACTORS TO WATCH                                              
* Euro, stocks rise after German ZEW survey               
* Brent steady above $117 on dim EU growth prospects       
* Shares edge higher, euro flat ahead of German data 
* 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.. 
ocks 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:       
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   Forex news        Global Economy news  
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 (Editing by Sunil Nair)
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