Nifty reclaims 18,000 as earnings boost Indian shares to monthly gains

People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares recovered from a muted start and logged gains on Friday, posting the highest monthly gain in five months, boosted by a slew of earnings.

The Nifty 50 reclaimed the 18,000 level after two months, closing 0.84% higher at 18,065, while the S&P BSE Sensex added 0.76% to 61,112.44.

The benchmark Nifty 50 has risen 4.06% in April, its best month since November 2022.

"Buy dips in May, do not shy away," wrote five equity analysts at ICICI Direct Research in a note on Friday. "The index has recovered from March low, absorbing global and domestic headwinds and could inch towards 18,300-18,500 in May."

The relative strength index on Nifty was 71 at market close, suggesting that the benchmark may be overbought.

All the 13 major sectoral indexes advanced, with information technology stocks, public sector banks and media rising over 1% each.

Financials recovered from a weak start and closed 0.34% higher. But gains were capped as private lender Axis Bank fell 2.43% after posting a wider-than-expected one-time loss, mainly on expenses from the $1.41 billion Citi deal.

Wipro Ltd rose nearly 3% after approving a buyback worth 120 billion rupees. The IT firm posted a marginal slide in net profit.

Financials has risen 6.11% in April, on strong earnings and healthy profitability metrics.

IT, however, has fallen 4.39% since April 12, when Tata Consultancy Services Ltd reported its quarterly numbers, as weak outlook from IT firms on client spends spurred a decline.

Among individual stocks, Glenmark Life Sciences Ltd surged over 5%, hitting a new 52-week high. The company, which reported a 48% year-on-year rise in net profit, is among the top gainers in pharma, which rose 0.76%.

Domestic equities will be closed on Monday (May 1, 2023), for a public holiday.

($1 = 81.6950 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Janane Venkatraman)