The Sensex rose on Wednesday, led by gains in Bharti Airtel after the company raised call prices, but sentiment remain constrained ahead of key earnings results and an impending central bank's critical decision on interest rates next week.
The Sensex provisionally ended 0.33 percent higher and the Nifty rose 0.22 percent.
Bharti Airtel, India's top mobile phone carrier, said it has raised voice call prices to account for rising costs, sending shares of telecommunication companies higher as investors bet that rivals will follow the market leader.
Idea Cellular, India's No.3 carrier by revenue and No.4 by customers, also said on Wednesday it had effectively raised voice call prices in some parts of the country after withdrawing promotional offers. It gave no details.
The price increases come as mobile phone carriers in India face billions of dollars in airwave surcharges after the government overhauled its system of spectrum sales in response to a massive scandal in 2011 over an alleged below-market-price sale of permits and airwaves three years before.
Shares in Bharti Airtel rose more than 4 percent after the news. Idea was up 4 percent and Reliance Communications gained as much as 3 percent, although both fell into negative territory later in the day.
Shares in Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) fell as much as 15.8 percent on Wednesday after Vice Chairman and Managing Director Sarang Wadhawan sold a partial stake in the company.
HDIL said on Tuesday Wadhawan sold 5 million shares worth Rs 57 crore in secondary markets, reducing his stake to 0.99 percent from 2.19 percent.
(With inputs from Reuters)
At 14.39 PM , the Sensex was down 47.92 points at 19933.65, and the Nifty held at 6025.55 after going down 22.95 points.
At 12.49 PM, the Sensex was trading 30.34 points up at 20011.91, and the Nifty gave up most of its gains to stay barely 3.40 points up at 6051.90.
At 11.06 AM, the Sensex moved up 49.51 points at 20031.08, and the Nifty rose 10.40 points at 6058.90. Midcaps were trading flat. Bharti flared up in today's trade after it announced hike in voice call prices.
Key indices were firm early Monday, buoyed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s positive comments at a gathering of global fund managers in Hong Kong Tuesday.
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