Gains in IT stocks propels indices to end 1% higher

Markets settled over 1% higher on Friday, led by gains in information technology stocks, as strong US retail earnings outlook and waning concerns about overly aggressive interest rate hikes by central banks lifted sentiment globally.

The Nifty settled up 1.13% at 6,352.45 and posted a 0.6% gain for the week, while the Sensex closed 1.17% higher at 54,884.66 and added 1.1% this week.

Most major Nifty sub-indices also ended higher, buoyed by a 2.54% rise in IT stocks. Pandemic-favourite technology stocks have recently come under pressure, with the Nifty sub-index (Nifty IT) falling nearly 10% so far in May, in its eighth straight weekly loss.

Soaring inflation, supply-chain issues and the hit from the Ukraine war will bring an end to the growth boom India's IT services industry enjoyed during the pandemic, JP Morgan analysts had warned earlier this month.

Technology stocks led the post-pandemic rally in India, as well as the fall, said Harendra Kumar, managing director at Elara Securities.

"Technical support comes in after some correction and that's one factor at play," he said.

Global stocks rose, with the MSCI world equities index gaining 0.38% on a more upbeat earnings view.

In India, aluminium and copper manufacturer Hindalco Industries rose as much 4.7%, after its March-quarter profit after tax doubled from a year earlier.

Solid waste collecting firm Antony Waste Handling Cell soared 20% to a five-week high after it posted higher March-quarter profit.

Logistics firm Dehlivery settled up 8.35% after it said it had been granted a US patent for its proprietary technology product.

Among the few losers, Nifty's energy sub-index closed down 0.97%, dragged lower by a 5.6% drop in natural gas explorer and producer Gail Ltd after it reported March quarter results.

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