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Sensex climbs after shaky start

Indian shares buck weak Asian markets to climb higher after a shaky start, supported by technical factors.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2006 16:13 IST

Indian shares bucked weak Asian markets to climb higher after a shaky start on Wednesday, supported by technical factors after the market broke through a psychological level the previous day.

By 10:57 a.m., the 30-issue benchmark BSE index was up 0.54 percent at 11,073.94 points. The trend was bullish in the wider market with nearly twice as many gainers than losers on strong volume of 31 million shares.

The benchmark had ended above 11,000 points on Tuesday for the first time since mid-May.

"The index has moved out of a congestion band after 8-9 weeks on the upper side, so this is the continuation of Tuesday's rally," said Vijay Bhambwani, chief executive at Bsplindia.com.

The market was also helped after the US Federal Reserve held interest rates steady as expected, ending a two-year tightening campaign.

"The market will be fairly choppy and there will be profit-taking," Bhambwani added.

The index fell as much as 0.65 percent in opening deals on weak Asian markets and fears of a possible decline in industrial activity after heavy floods forced the closure of some petrochemical units and gas wells in western India, cutting off two-thirds of India's natural gas supply.

Reliance Industries Ltd., India's top petrochemicals firm, was up 0.4 percent at Rs 981, recovering from a low of Rs 968. Reliance, the top weighted stock, had shut some of its plants at Hazira in Gujarat due to floods.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp rose 0.7 percent to Rs 1,197.5 after Chairman R.S. Sharma told Reuters the state-run firm hopes to restart gas supplies from its flooded complex in a couple of days.

<b>Stocks on the move</b>

* Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. fell 1.4 percent to Rs 2,135.95 after the state-run firm said its board did not take any decision on a stock split or a bonus issue.

* Unitech Ltd. was flat at Rs 206.2 after the real estate company said it would develop a township of more than 100 acres (40.5 hectares) near New Delhi at a cost of Rs 18 billion.

* Hero Honda Motors Ltd. gained 1.6 percent to Rs 678.8 after India's top bike maker said it would, along with its ancillaries, invest Rs 19 billion to set up a new bike plant in northern Uttaranchal state.

* Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd. rose 5.9 percent to Rs 105.25 after it secured a contract worth Rs 2.46 billion from NTPC Ltd to build parts of a hydro-power project in Uttaranchal.

Top 3 by volume

* Balrampur Chini Mills Ltd. surged 8.9 percent on 2.1 million shares.

* Steel Authority of India Ltd. was up 1.7 percent with 1.2 million shares changing hands.

* S Kumars Nationwide Ltd. dropped 1.8 percent on 1.18 million shares.