Sensex Climbs for Third Day as Coal India, ITC, Maruti Advance

Indian stocks rose, led by materials producers and consumer companies, as the benchmark index gained for a third day amid increases in emerging-market equities.

Coal India Ltd. jumped the most in four months. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. had the biggest gain in five months and cigarette maker ITC Ltd., which has the highest weighting on the S&P BSE Sensex, posted the steepest climb in a month. Carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. climbed the most in a week. Tata Power Co., India’s largest non-state generator, rose to a two-week high.

The Sensex added 0.3 percent to 20,310.74 at the close, after changing direction six times. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.7 percent after yesterday closing at a five-month low amid a slowdown in China’s economy and reduced stimulus in the U.S., where January employment data are due tomorrow.

“We’re back to times when every morning we look at what has happened across the Atlantic the previous night to decide our trading strategy,” P. Phani Sekhar, a fund manager at Angel Broking Ltd., told Bloomberg TV India today.

Coal India jumped 4.7 percent, the most since Jan. 8, to 267.30 rupees. Hindustan Unilever advanced 2.9 percent to its highest level since Nov. 29. ITC rose the most since Jan. 10.

Maruti rose 2.1 percent, while Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., India’s largest maker of sport-utility vehicles and tractors, climbed 2.1 percent. Tata Power increased 3.2 percent.

Power-equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. was the worst performer on Sensex after yesterday reporting sales that missed estimates. The stock has lost 9.3 percent over five days through today, the most since Dec. 16.

Earnings Scorecard

Seventy nine percent of the 18 Sensex members that posted earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31 so far have exceeded or matched analyst estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with 70 percent in the previous quarter and 47 percent in the quarter ended June 30.

The gauge has slid 5 percent from its Jan. 23 record amid a selloff in emerging-market equities. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan unexpectedly raised interest rates on Jan. 28 to cool inflation and defend the currency.

The rupee rose the most in more than a week on speculation a mobile-phone spectrum auction will draw overseas capital. The government got bids valued at 446.1 billion rupees ($7.1 billion) on the first day of the auction that began Feb. 3.

“Once the currency remains in place, one can focus on stock-picking, which is what has happened in India,” Rahul Chadha, co-chief investment officer with Mirae Asset Global Investments Hong Kong Ltd., which has $60 billion in assets, said on Bloomberg TV India today. “The key call in India is when does the domestic economy pick up.”

Foreign investors bought a net $12.9 million of stocks yesterday, ending four days of outflows and paring this year’s outflows to $186 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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