Indian shares inched higher on Thursday to a yet another 4-month closing high, with mortgage firm Housing Development Finance Corp hitting an all-time peak, but concerns over rising oil prices weighed.
The benchmark 30-share BSE index was up 0.11 per cent at 12,380.74 points. The index has been closing in on a May peak of 12,671.11 points in the past three sessions, but is still 2.3 per cent below the record high.
Shares in HDFC, India's top mortgage firm, rose to Rs 1,525, and ended 3.7 per cent higher at Rs 1,500.50.
"The market was range bound, and was moved by only a few selective stocks," said Sumeet Rohra, analyst with Antique Stock Broking Ltd.
"HDFC is a foreign fund driven stock and probably that's where buying has happened the most," he said.
Foreign funds have invested $4.6 billion in Indian equities so far this year, much less than the $10.7 billion in the whole of last year.
Bellwether stock and India's number two software exporter Infosys Technologies Ltd rose 1.2 per cent to Rs 1,856.45.
India's number one private bank ICICI Bank Ltd rose 1.1 per cent to Rs 708.40.
State-run refiners — Indian Oil Corp. Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd — fell between 1-3.5 per cent after US crude bounced back to trade above $63 a barrel.
India imports 70 per cent of its crude oil requirements and higher prices would fuel higher inflation in Asia's fourth-largest economy, which is growing by 8 per cent a year.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries Ltd eased 0.6 per cent to Rs 1,168.05 after its owners said they had increased their stake in the top private firm by 2 per cent to more than 50 per cent.
In the broader market 1,346 stocks advanced over 1,118 decliners in a volume of nearly 220 million shares.
The 50-issue Nifty was down 0.2 per cent to 3,571.75.
Stocks that moved
• KLG Systel Ltd rose by its daily limit of 5 per cent to Rs 211.70 after it won orders worth Rs 240 million from electricity utilities in Punjab and Rajasthan to reconfigure feeders used in electricity transmission.
• JK Paper Ltd rose 3 per cent to Rs 48.10 after its chief financial officer said the company planned to raise prices of its Copier brand of paper effective from October 1.
• Nagarjuna Construction Co Ltd gained 0.9 per cent at Rs 156.60 after it said it had bagged construction orders worth Rs 2 billion from various clients.
Top 3 by volume:
• IFCI Ltd on trade of 6 million shares.
• Gateway Distriparks Ltd on 5.8 million shares.
• Sterling Biotech Ltd on 5.1 million shares.