Indian Stocks Climb for Second Day as Axis Bank, ONGC Advance

  • Equities gain in Asia as global commodity prices stabilize
  • Foreigners invest $201 million in local equities this month

Indian stocks climbed in volatile trading, led by lenders and industrials, as an advance in crude oil to a seven-month high lifted global equities.

Axis Bank Ltd. and ICICI Bank Ltd., the nation’s biggest non-state banks, were among the best performers on the S&P BSE Sensex. Housing Development Finance Corp., the largest mortgage lender, gained for a second day. Oil & Natural Gas Corp., the top explorer, rose the most in three months, while GAIL India Ltd., a natural-gas supplier, ended two days of declines. Sun TV Network Ltd. jumped the most in more than nine months.

The Sensex increased 0.5 percent at the close in Mumbai, paring an intraday advance of 1.1 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was set for its third day of gains, even after oil pared a climb that earlier pushed it above $48 a barrel. The pickup in commodity prices is helping a recovery in global equities, after weaker economic data wiped out almost $2 trillion of value in the first two weeks of May.

“Rising crude prices are giving some comfort on the global front," Kaushik Dani, a fund manager at Karvy Stock Broking Ltd. in Mumbai, said by phone. “On the domestic front, corporate earnings are being rolled over to the next fiscal year. That is giving support to the markets." He is bullish on automakers and lenders.

Earnings, Monsoon

The Sensex completed its best week in a month on Friday amid optimism that company earnings are recovering after the worst run since the global financial crisis. Eight out of 15 index companies that have posted March-quarter results so far exceeded or matched estimates. Investors have also been bullish after this year’s prediction for above-normal rainfall after back-to-back deficits and the passage of key economic bills in parliament.

Foreign investors have bought $201 million of Indian stocks so far this month, taking this year’s inflows to $2 billion.

The NSE Nifty 50 Index gained 0.4 percent at the close, after rising as much as 1 percent to 7,940.1.

Nifty Resistance

“The 7,900 on the Nifty is a big resistance and that’s why we are seeing volatility and consolidation around that level,” Purvesh Shelatkar, senior vice president and head of equities at BOB Capital Markets Ltd. in Mumbai, said by phone. “The market momentum is positive as global factors are supportive and locally, the monsoon is more or less on track, company earnings have been better than estimated” and the exit poll results show the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party party winning elections in the northeastern Assam state, he said. “We are advising clients to buy at every dip."

Axis Bank surged 3.5 percent to its highest level since Oct. 27, while Housing Development Finance rose 2.7 percent. Oil & Natural Gas jumped 3.8 percent, the steepest climb since Feb. 18 and GAIL climbed 1.7 percent.

Sun TV soared 10 percent, the most since Aug. 3, with volume about 12 times the stock’s three-month daily average. The shares jumped on “sentimental impact" after exit polls showed the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam returning to power in Tamil Nadu state, according to Kishor Ostwal, managing director at CNI Research Ltd. Election results are due for five states on Thursday.

Sun TV, owned by Kalanithi Maran, grandnephew of DMK President M. Karunanidhi, is seen gaining high revenue growth when DMK is in power, B. Anil Kumar, an analyst at Firstcall India Equity Advisors Pvt Ltd., said in an e-mail.

Motherson Sumi Systems Ltd., an autoparts maker, rallied the most since Nov. 6, after its fourth-quarter profit climbed 22 percent to 4.14 billion rupees, beating the estimated 3.53 billion rupees. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., a tractor maker, added 2 percent, while Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. increased 1.8 percent.

Tata Metaliks Ltd. soared 20 percent, the most since September 2012, after it withdrew a scheme of amalgamation of Tata Metaliks and Tata Metaliks DI Pipes Ltd. with Tata Steel Ltd. Tata Sponge Iron Ltd. rallied 12 percent.

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