MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex rose on Friday to mark its second weekly gain as ITC rose after hiking prices for one of its cigarette brands, while Hindustan Unilever advanced to a record high after parent company Unilever increased its stake in the Indian unit.
Sentiment was also helped as the indexes closed above their 200-day moving averages for a second day and afer foreign investors bought shares worth 1.6 billion rupees and equity derivatives worth 15 billion rupees on Thursday.
Foreign trading has become a key barometer for markets after overseas funds sold 110.26 billion rupees worth of shares in June as part of a sell-off in emerging markets and a slump in the rupee to record lows.
Investors are now eyeing monthly U.S. employment data due later in the day, while gearing up for a new earnings season that begins next week when Infosys Ltd (INFY.NS) unveils its June-quarter results on June 12.
“Market opened gap up on global cues as well as short covering as Nifty was above 200 DMA. Next important trigger is Infy results and before that market will remain lacklustre,” said Kishor P. Ostwal, chairman and managing director at CNI Research Ltd.
The benchmark BSE index rose 0.44 percent, or 84.98 points, to end at 19,495.82, rising for a second consecutive week with a gain of 0.51 percent.
The index erased its gains for the year at one point this week, but Friday’s rise left it up 0.35 percent for 2013.
The broader NSE index rose 0.53 percent, or 30.95 points, to end at 5,867.90, also gaining 0.44 percent for the week. The index is down 0.63 percent for the year.
Both indexes ended above their 200-day moving averages, an technical indication that is seen as portending support for markets.
ITC Ltd (ITC.NS) rose 1.1 percent, a second day of gains, after the company said on Thursday it had raised the price of its Gold Flake Regular Filter cigarettes.
Reliance Industries Ltd (RELI.NS) gained 2.2 percent on hopes that recent hefty increase in gas prices would improve its earnings in the medium term.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HLL.NS) ended 1.3 percent higher, having earlier hit a record 632 rupees, after Unilever said it had acquired a little over two-thirds of the Indian unit, less than the total amount it had offered to buy in the voluntary tender offer.
Hopes about Hindustan Unilever’s outlook and that Unilever may eventually look to again acquire shares in the Indian unit spurred the gains, analysts said.
Shares in Indian sugar companies rose after the government decided to raise import duty on the sweetener to 15 percent from 10 to discourage overseas buying as ample supplies have sparked a drop in local prices.
Shares in Firstsource Solutions Ltd (FISO.NS) rose 8.2 percent, marking a second day of gains, after billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala bought a 3.8 percent stake in the company via a bulk deal on Thursday, according to exchange data.
However, among stocks that fell, United Spirits ended 0.9 percent lower on profit taking after earlier hitting a record 2,626 rupees. Global drinks firm Diageo (DGE.L) said on Thursday it completed a share offering that failed to attract enough investors given the low offer price.
Editing by Sunil Nair