India’s Stocks Index Pares Gains After Reliance Weighs on Sensex

Indian stocks closed higher on Wednesday, paring much of their gains after Reliance Industries Ltd. announced a delay in its plan to sell a stake to Saudi Aramco.

The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.1% to 36,051.81, triming an advance of as much a 2.2% in Mumbai. The NSE Nifty 50 Index rose by a similar magnitude. Both measures fell the most in a month yesterday after flirting during the past week with technical levels that flash overheated signals to some investors. Reliance Industries, which carries the largest weight on the index, had earlier announced $4.5 billion investment by Google before the Aramco news.

“Markets pared gains because of profit booking on Reliance and its valuations looking stretched,” said Umesh Mehta, head of research at Samco Securities Ltd. in Mumbai. Also, “the financial sector is cracking, which reflects that the real economy has weakened in some pockets, and investors are slowly realizing that.”

Signs of growth are emerging as India gradually reopens in some areas from an extended lockdown, while some cities in Maharashtra and Karnataka states are reimposing restrictions as the virus continues to spread. The South Asian nation faces its first economic contraction in four decades and has registered the world’s third-highest number of coronavirus infections.

With earnings season underway, Infosys Ltd. became the second company after Wipro Ltd. to report quarterly net income that beat estimates. Shares in Infosys surged as much as 8.2%, the highest level on record.

The rupee strengthened 0.4% to 75.15 per U.S. dollar. The yield on the 6.45% 2029 government bonds fell one basis point to 5.9%.

The Numbers

  • Seven of 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a gauge of information technology companies
  • Infosys Ltd. contributed most to the Sensex’s advance and was the biggest winner with a 6.1% rise; while Bharti Airtel Ltd. was the biggest loser, dropping 4.2%

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