IT powers Indian shares to record highs for second straight session

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s blue-chip indexes hit record highs for a second consecutive session on Monday, led by information technology stocks after better-than-expected results from HCLTech and Wipro.

The NSE Nifty 50 index added 0.93% to 22,097.45 points, while the S&P BSE Sensex climbed 1.05% to 73,327.94.

The Nifty 50 surpassed the 22,000 level, while the Sensex breached the 73,000 mark for the first time.

IT jumped as much as 3.85% to its highest in two years, before paring gains to close 1.86% higher.

The index has risen 7.10% in the last two sessions, boosted by better-than-expected third-quarter results from the top four IT companies.

“The Street was very negative on the sector ahead of the results, so a surprisingly steady set of numbers has triggered optimism,” said Anita Gandhi, founder and head of institution at Arihant Capital.

More than a quarter of analysts covering IT companies had the equivalent of “sell” or “strong sell” on the stocks, the most among all sectors, ahead of the earnings.

Shares of Wipro jumped 6.26%, while HCLTech climbed 3.08% on the day.

Wipro, HCLTech and Infosys were among the top four Nifty 50 gainers, adding between 2.4% and 6.5%.

Among individual stocks, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) rose 4.5%, leading energy and oil and gas up 1.37% and 1.73%, respectively.

The jump comes after a PTI report said that ONGC made two natural gas discoveries in the Mahanadi basin deepwater block in the Bay of Bengal.

Bank index jumped about 1%, ahead of quarterly results from top private lender HDFC Bank on Tuesday.

“While the outlook for Indian markets remains positive, there could be consolidation driven by earnings from key constituents like HDFC Bank, over the next few weeks,” Gandhi added.

($1 = 82.8520 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Mrigank Dhaniwala, Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Eileen Soreng)