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BSE Sensex Firm; RIL, TCS Up

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Firmer Asian peers and rising foreign portfolio investments also underpinned market sentiment, traders said.

Tata Consultancy, which is expected to report quarterly profit rose 21.8 per cent, rallied as much as 2.2 per cent. The result expected by afternoon comes after rival Infosys Technologies disappointed the market last week.

"TCS results should be better than Infosys. Reliance earnings should be a blockbuster with a boost from refining margins," said Arun Kejriwal, director of research firm KRIS.

Reliance, the country's most valuable listed company, climbed as much as 1.3 per cent. A Reuters poll forecast Reliance to post a 17.4 per cent rise in quarterly net profit. The result is expected after market hours.

At 10:59 a.m. (0529 GMT), the 30-share BSE index was up 0.82 per cent at 19,630.73 points, with 24 components advancing. It is up 1.3 per cent for the holiday-shortened week, with the market closed on Good Friday.

Optimism over India's rapid economic growth has prompted foreigners to plumb for Indian shares since mid-March after they had been heavy sellers in the first two months of 2011.

Foreign portfolio inflows since the start of March have reached $3.4 billion and has helped the BSE index climb more than 10 per cent.

The 50-share NSE index was up 0.7 per cent at 5,892.35.

Gainers outpaced losers in the ratio of 1.7 to 1 in the broader market, with 104 million shares changing hands on the NSE.

State Bank of India, the country's top lender, was up 0.8 per cent after it said late on Wednesday it has decided to withdraw its special home loan schemes from May 1, in response to concerns raised by the Reserve Bank.

These schemes with a lower interest rate at the start were frowned upon by the RBI due to worries they could significantly raise banks' bad loans.

Rivals ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were up 0.2 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively on hopes loan demand will remain robust in the fast-growing economy.

The MSCI's measure of Asian markets other than Japan was up 1.3 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei rose 1 per cent.

Stocks On The Move

  • Religare Enterprises was up nearly 1 per cent at 489 rupees after the financial services company said its board would consider on April 26 a proposal to raise funds through a rights issue.

  • NIIT climbed 5.3 per cent to 56.80 rupees after the software training company said its board approved to divest its holding in non-operating unit Neo Multimedia Ltd.

Top Three By Volume On NSE

  • Unitech on 11.5 million shares

  • Suzlon Energy on 11.3 million shares

  • Alok Industries on 7.8 million shares


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