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Sensex At 4-Week Closing High

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The BSE Sensex rose 1.2 per cent on Friday to its highest close in nearly four weeks and logged its best weekly performance in six as gains in European markets on hopes of progress towards a solution to the euro zone's debt crisis boosted risk appetite.

Energy major Reliance Industries and top software services exporter Tata Consultancy Services rose 2.4 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively, ahead of their quarterly earnings, and contributed the most to the main index's gains.

Stocks shrugged off data, which showed inflation barely budged in September, as expected, staying stubbornly outside the RBI's comfort zone. The RBI has raised rates a dozen times since March 2010 and another rate rise looms at its policy meeting on Oct 25.

"The market is drawing some comfort from the fact that Europe is holding up," said Gajendra Nagpal, chief executive officer at Unicon Financial Intermediaries in New Delhi.

Nagpal said the central bank's hawkish stance would continue but saw the rate rise cycle peaking out.

"I still believe there will be no rate hike or at best a 25 basis point hike and that would be the last (this fiscal year) because the market simply doesn't have the capacity to absorb more."

The main 30-share BSE index closed 1.18 per cent up at 17,082.69, with 19 of its components rising. The index, which had opened 0.3 per cent down, added most of the gains in afternoon trade after see-sawing earlier.

It was the index's highest close since Sept 20. On the week, the benchmark added 5.2 percent, but is still down 16.7 percent this year as rising interest rates have started biting into corporate profits and a series of scandals have paralysed government policy making.

Reliance Industries, India's most valuable firm and the heaviest stock in the main index, added 20 rupees to end at 866.90 rupees, its highest close in about 2-1/2 months.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect Reliance, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, to report on Saturday a 16 percent rise in September-quarter profit on strong refining margins.

The stock, however, is down more than 18 per cent this year on falling gas output.

Tata Consultancy, which reports quarterly results on Monday, closed at 1,134 rupees, its highest close in about 2-1/2 months.

The company is expected to report a 16.5 percent rise in net profit.

No. 2 software exporter Infosys, which this week reported a 9.7 per cent rise in profit and cut its full-year outlook less than expected, rose 1.7 percent to 2,743.75 rupees. Third-ranked Wipro jumped 4 per cent to 363.30 rupees.

Shares in top car maker Maruti Suzuki fell 2.9 percent to 1,027.25 rupees, their lowest close since July 2009. The company, majority-owned by Japan's Suzuki, has been losing output due to a lingering labour strike.

Maruti shares were down 7.7 per cent on the week.

The 50-share NSE index gained 1.07 per cent to 5,132.30. In the broader market, there were 724 gainers for 704 losers on total volume of about 567 million shares.

European shares rose on Friday, bolstered by hopes of euro zone crisis action. G20 finance chiefs and central banks heads from the world's biggest economies meet in Paris on Friday in search for a solution to a deepening crisis that has fanned fears of a global recession.

World stocks as measured by MSCI gained 0.31 per cent, while the emerging equities were up 0.16 percent.

Stocks That Moved
# DLF fell 2.9 percent to 231.60 rupees after Goldman Sachs removed the stock from its Asia Pacific buy list and downgraded to "neutral," with a target price of 254 rupees, citing limited upside to operational estimates.

# SpiceJet jumped 7.1 percent to 22.55 rupees after it said it had allotted 35.9 million shares at a premium of 26.48 rupees to Kalanithi Maran, promoter of the company.

Main Top 3 By Volume
# Tata Motors on 14.9 million shares

# Unitech on 13 million shares

# Wire & Wireless India on 12.8 million shares

(Reuters)


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