Sensex up 0.2 pct; Infosys hits record high

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 17:24

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex erased early losses and rose 0.2 percent on Wednesday, with export-focused outsourcers leading the way on expectation a recovering world economy will boost demand for their services.

Bellwether Infosys Technologies, which gets more than half its revenue from exports, leapt to an all-time high of 2,549 rupees, before closing up 1.5 percent at 2,544.80. The stock was the top gainer in the main index.

Smaller rival Wipro ended up nearly 2 percent at 671.90 rupees after hitting 674.90, its highest level since 2000. Leader Tata Consultancy rose 1.8 percent to 713.45.

"IT stocks are gaining on hope the global economy is recovering," said Daljeet Kohli, head of private client group research at Emkay Global Financial.

The 30-share BSE index closed up 0.21 percent, or 35.61 points, at 16,912.77 after falling 0.6 percent in early deals. Fourteen of its components advanced.

The benchmark is up more than 75 percent so far in 2009, on track to post its best gains since 1991, fuelled by strong foreign portfolio investment.

Top mobile operator Bharti Airtel closed 2.8 percent higher at 325.75 rupees, after the Bangladeshi telecom regulator said the company may be looking to buy Warid Telecom.
However, banks extended losses on fears the central bank may tighten policy sooner than expected given concerns about rising inflation.

The Reserve Bank of India might tighten monetary policy in December as inflation could rise to near 7 percent in March, Prime Minister`s Economic Adviser C. Rangarajan, was quoted as saying in a report.

Top lender State Bank of India fell 1.3 percent, while ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank shed 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

Tata Steel climbed 2.1 percent to 557.55 rupees after its European unit Corus said it had got 350 million euro contract to supply rail tracks to French operator SNCF.

In the broader market, losers almost equalled the number gainers on low volume of 313 million shares.

The 50-share NSE index closed 0.2 percent higher at 5,042.05.

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First Published: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 17:24

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