SENSEX-NIFTY-SBI-PNB-RIL-ONGC:BSE Sensex edges up; still in consolidation mode
By Abhishek Vishnoi
MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex posted slight gains on Wednesday, but enough to notch its highest close since April 19, after government-owned lenders such as SBI rose as valuations were seen lagging private peers.
Miner Sesa Goa
However, the slight overall gains marked a third day of range-bound trading. Traders cited a period of consolidation after strong gains in June, when the BSE index rose 7.5 percent.
Foreign banks are becoming more optimistic about Indian shares, citing mainly valuations. UBS became the third investment bank after Deutsche Bank and J.P.Morgan in recent weeks to upgrade indexes to "overweight.
Still, the global risk environment will remain essential.
"Even the foreign brokerages started upgrading India. I think everybody was highly underweight and are now catching up," Hitash Dang, Vice President at Jaypee Capital
The BSE Sensex rose 0.2 percent to 17,462.81 points. The Nifty rose 0.3 percent to 5,302.55 points.
Although the BSE way outperformed the 3.5 percent gain in the MSCI Asia-Pacific index excluding Japan in June, the situation has reversed this month.
The regional index is up 2 percent this month versus a 0.2 percent gain for India's benchmark indicator.
In a separate report, Citigroup recommended investors to opt for cyclicals, saying valuations had lagged too far behind defensives and noting slowing economic growth had been sufficiently priced into shares.
Public sector banks were among the leading gainers on Wednesday.
State Bank of India rose 1.9 percent, while Punjab National Bank
SBI, for example, has gained 5 percent in June versus a 15 percent jump in shares of private lender ICICI
The approval of new iron mines by India's southern Karnataka also sparked gains in Sterlite Industries
A decision on whether to approve the state government's decision is expected from a Supreme Court-appointed committee later on Wednesday.
Steel makers gained at the prospect of new supplies from the mines. JSW Steel
Shares of major air conditioner manufacturers rallied after weaker-than-expected rainfalls so far during the monsoon season are sparking hopes of increased sales.
Whirlpool India Ltd
Shares in India's Ashok Leyland
However, some recent blue chip outperformers fell. Reliance Industries
Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC)
(Additional reporting by Manoj Dharra; Editing by Rafael Nam)The Great Diwali Discount!
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