Indian Sensex Caps Best Week in Six as Reliance Industries Gains

Updated on
  • Sensex steady on Friday amid a global selloff in equities
  • Reliance Industries surges ahead of annual general meeting

India’s equity benchmark capped its biggest weekly gain since May as Reliance Industries Ltd. advanced the most in three months.

The S&P BSE Sensex closed little changed on Friday, up 1.4 percent for the week, even as other Asian markets joined a global selloff. Reliance Industries climbed 3.4 percent, extending its best week since February amid speculation of positive announcements at its shareholder meeting due on July 21. Housing Development Finance Corp. was the biggest drag on the index. The mortgage lender known as HDFC earlier this week said it may face losses on more than 9 billion rupees ($140 million) of loans.

“There’s expectation of some announcements at the AGM, primarily on the Jio front, that’s pushing up the shares,” Dhaval Joshi, analyst at Emkay Global Financial Services said by phone. HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India) Pvt. earlier this week said the company’s Jio unit may introduce a low-cost mobile phone which could be disrupt the market.

The Sensex is top performer in Asia this year as investors bet on the success of the nationwide goods and services tax, or GST, and the ability of seasonal rains to bolster the economy. The concerns over global central banks reining in stimulus shouldn’t worry investors in the Indian stock market, said Sunil Sharma, chief investment officer at Sanctum Wealth Management Ltd.

“There are a number of positives to look forward to including improved government spending, GST, the pay commission and a good monsoon stabilizing the rural economy,” Sharma said, referring to lawmakers’ plans to adjust government salaries.

Among top gainers on the Sensex were Lupin Ltd., Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. and Sun Pharmaceutical Ltd., pushing a measure of health-care stocks to the second-biggest gains among the 13 sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. Dr Reddy’s said it expects the pricing environment to improve in the U.S.

Summary

— With assistance by Debjit Chakraborty

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