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BW Businessworld

Sensex Extends Gains; Bharti Top Gainer

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The BSE Sensex extended gains to 1 per cent on Monday, led by banks, software exporters and energy major Reliance Industries as investors sought holiday-season bargains.

At 10:02 am, the main 30-share BSE index was up 1.08 per cent at 15,908.29, with 16 of its components in the green.

"I think it will be more or less range-bound this week, due to holidays and the expiry," said Jigar Shah, senior vice president at KIM ENG Securities, referring to Thursday's derivatives expiry.

Shah said the Nifty was likely to trade between 4,700-4,900 this week.

Mobile operator Bharti Airtel was the top gainer, with a rise of 3 per cent, while Idea Cellular rose 2.3 after the telecoms tribunal gave the companies temporary respite from a government ban on 3G roaming pacts.

On Friday, the telecoms ministry told carriers they would not be allowed to offer 3G services beyond the zones where they have their own radio airwaves.

Reliance Communications rose 1.6 per cent after the Times of India reported that the company was in the final stages of talks with private equity firms Carlyle and Blackstone  to sell its tower unit.

Infrastructure firm GVK Power gained 8.6 per cent higher after the Economic Times reported Singapore's Changi Airports may buy 26 per cent stake in its airports business for up to Rs 2200 crores.

A spokesman for GVK and Changi Airports said the report was speculative.

Banking stocks were the top sectoral gainers, led by top lender SBI, which rose 1.4 per cent.

Energy major Reliance Industries gained over 1 per cent.

The 50-share NSE index was up 1.11 per cent at 4,766.05.

In the broader market, there were more than three gainers for every loser, on volume of 720 million shares.

In Asia, Japanese stocks outperformed rest of the markets in thin trade, as signs of US economic recovery underpinned sentiment. US, European and some Asian markets including Hong Kong and Singapore are closed for a holiday.

Wall Street stocks rose on Friday, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index breaking through its 200-day moving average as upbeat data reinforced a slightly better outlook for the US economy.