IT stocks, Mahindra & Mahindra lift Indian shares to best session in over 2 weeks

FILE PHOTO: A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai

By Dimpal Gulwani and Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares advanced on Thursday, led by information technology stocks after softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data reignited hopes of at least two interest rate cuts in 2024.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 rose 0.92% to 22,403.85 points, while the S&P BSE Sensex settled 0.93% higher at 73,663.72.

This is the highest single-day percentage gain for both the benchmarks since April 29.

Twelve of the 13 major sectors ended in positive territory, with U.S.-rate sensitive IT stocks adding 1.66%.

All ten constituents of the IT index advanced between 0.5% and 4.5%. Tech Mahindra and LTIMindtree were among the top five Nifty 50 gainers.

Indian IT companies derive a significant portion of their revenue from the United States.

U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in April, spurring rallies in global stocks to their highest levels since late 2022 on rate cut hopes.

Widespread buying in the closing hour session saw key indices notch significant gains in another volatile trading session, said Prashanth Tapse, senior vice president of research at Mehta Equities.

The Nifty 50 swung between 1.04% gains and 0.66% losses in intraday trade, before consolidating gains in the final hour as volatility hovered around 19-month levels.

The index traded in a range of 378 points, the highest since May 3.

Among individual stocks, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) gained 3.02% after beating quarterly profit estimates.

Telecom services provider Bharti Airtel gained 2.69% to an all-time high, after several brokerages hiked their target price for the stock, citing likely gains from imminent tariff hikes.

M&M and Bharti Airtel were among the top five Nifty 50 gainers.

Hindustan Aeronautics surged 10.07% to a record high post a rise in quarterly profit, while Gail (India) shed 2.64% on missing quarterly profit estimates.

The broader, more-domestically focussed small- and mid-caps gained about 0.9% each.

(Reporting by Dimpal Gulwani and Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K and Sonia Cheema)