Sensex hovers near 16700; Infosys, TCS, Cipla up

MUMBAI: The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex held on to intraday gains even as IIP growth data was below estimates. India's IIP for the month of August 2011 grew at 4.1 per cent against 3.3 per cent a month ago. August Manufacturing Growth was at 4.5 per cent vs 2.3 per cent in July.

Meanwhile, investors continued to lap up shares of IT sector following in-line second quarter results from Infosys Technologies.

The IT bellwether reported 9.72 per cent growth in its consolidated net profit to Rs 1,906 crore for the second quarter ended September 30 against Rs 1,737 crore in the same quarter last fiascal. Consolidated revenue rose to Rs 8,099 crore from Rs 6,947 crore in the year-ago period.

"Infosys reported Q2FY12 results better than our/consensus expectation in a quarter that had demand weakening headwinds, but currency tailwinds. However, the marginally lowererd guidance for FY12 US$ revenue is below our but ahead of consensus estimates. We see result as better than consensus expectation," said Prabhudas Lilladher report.

"We recommend switch from TCS to Infosys due to lower exposure in Europe and capital market. We may revisit our estimates post conference call," the report added.

At 11:15 am; the Sensex was at 16671.68, up 135.21 points or 0.82 per cent. The 30-share index touched intraday low of 16653.48 and high of 16778.64.

The National Stock Exchange's Nifty was at 5023.80, up 49.45 points or 0.99 per cent. The broader index touched a high of 5048.40 and low of 5011.20 in trade so far.

"The overall trend still remains cautious as Nifty was not able to sustain above its resistance level of 5050 and corrected sharply. We still maintain a stock specific approach rather focusing on Nifty movements. On the lower side support seen around 4880 - 4830 levels," said Nirmal Bang report.

BSE Midcap Index was up 0.49 per cent and BSE Smallcap Index gained 0.51 per cent.

Amongst the sectoral indices, BSE IT Index surged 4.18 per cent, BSE FMCG Index moved 0.93 per cent higher and BSE Metal Index advanced 0.83 per cent. BSE Auto Index was down 0.81 per cent.

Infosys Technologies (5.26%), TCS (3.25%), Jindal Steel (2.46%), Wipro (2.43%) and Cipla (1.69%) were amongst the major Sensex gainers.

Tata Motors (-2.72%), Tata Power (-2.53%), M&M (-1.48%), DLF (-1.28%) and HDFC (-0.60%) were amongst the losers.

Market breadth was positive on the BSE with 1396 gainers against 931 losers.