Indian shares ended higher in a volatile session on Friday as gains in IT stocks and a stellar debut by food delivery startup Zomato more than offset losses in the telecom sector.
Zomato Ltd closed nearly 65% above its offer price at 125.20 rupees, reflecting investor interest in internet-based consumer startups expected to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic..
Telecom shares, however, fell after India's top court rejected a plea by mobile carriers seeking corrections of what they called errors in the government's calculation of their dues.
Shares of embattled telecom firm Vodafone Idea fell as much as 14.6% to its lowest since Oct. 20, while Bharti Airtel lost as much as 2.6% before ending marginally higher.
IT stocks ended up 0.38%, with Persistent Systems, Mphasis Ltd and Wipro Ltd gaining the most on the sub-index, with analysts saying that most of the weekly moves in domestic markets were range-bound.
Quarterly results from Reliance Industries Ltd and Ambuja Cements are due later in the day. Investors will look out for any pandemic impact on the results of the oil-to-telecom conglomerate.
Reliance's first-quarter profit is expected to be 128.38 billion Indian rupees ($1.72 billion) and revenue 1.55 trillion rupees, according to Refinitiv data.
"Globally, the trend of rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, especially in the UK and Asia, and inflation concerns are some key risks the market is grappling with," Shibani Kurian, senior EVP and head of equity research at Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company, said in a note.
Meanwhile, world stocks perked up after a volatile week dominated by sentiment changes over the global economic outlook and the Delta variant. European stock markets opened broadly higher while Asian shares, outside Japan, were largely lower.