Sensex climbs for second day; Larsen, Infosys advance

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Sensex climbs for second day; Larsen, Infosys advance
12:39 AM



India’s benchmark index increased for a second day, led by Larsen & Toubro, after Goldman Sachs Group upgraded the stock. Software makers rose after US services industry grew at the fastest pace in a year.

The S&P BSE Sensex index added 0.6% to 19,252.61 at the close, its highest level since February 25.

Larsen & Toubro jumped 2.6% to Rs1,432.30 to complete its biggest two-day gain since September 17. The stock was raised to buy from neutral at Goldman Sachs. Infosys rose 1.7% to Rs2,970.10, the highest close since July 2011. Smaller rival Wipro added 2% to Rs441.90, the highest level since April. Tata Motors, the owner of Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands, rallied 3% to Rs309.40 in a fifth day of gains.

The Sensex fell for five straight weeks through March 1, dropping to a three-month low on February 28, as third-quarter net incomes at companies from Tata Motors to State Bank of India missed estimates for the December quarter and the pace of the nation’s economic expansion slowed.

Sterlite Industries (India), the nation’s top copper maker, surged 4.5% to Rs99, extending yesterday’s 4.8% rally. The stock completed an eighth week of losses on March 1. Aluminum maker Hindalco Industries climbed 3.3% to Rs101.80. The S&P BSE Metal index gained for a second day, rising 2.2%. The gauge of 11 producers sank 14.5% in February and 4.2% in January.

The 50-stock CNX Nifty Index of the National Stock Exchange of India jumped 0.6% to 5,818.60 while its March futures settled at 5,841.35. India VIX, which measures the cost of protection against losses in the Nifty, added 0.1 to 13.40, ending five days of losses.

Meanwhile, India’s rupee rose the most in a week on optimism an improvement in the US services industry, which drove stocks in the world’s largest economy to a record high, will spur inflows to emerging markets.

“The best hope for the rupee would seem to rest with global risk appetite, whereby a rising tide of global investor bullishness would lift India’s ‘boat’ alongside other investment destinations,” Singapore-based Henderson wrote in a report today. “Without a sustained commitment to expenditure restraint, the rupee will likely languish relative to its peers.”

The currency climbed 0.4% to 54.7200 per dollar in Mumbai, the biggest gain since February 27. One-month implied volatility, a gauge of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, fell eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 9.64%.

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