Indian stocks rise on strong bank earnings, Asian markets advance
By Ambar Warrick
Investing.com-- Indian stocks rose on Monday following a series of strong earnings from heavyweight bank stocks, while broader Asian stocks rose slightly, although market holidays dulled trading volumes across most of the region.
India’s BSE Sensex 30 and Nifty 50 indexes rose 0.7% each, buoyed largely by major bank stocks following better-than-expected results from ICICI Bank Ltd (NS: ICBK ) and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (NS: KTKM ). The two stocks rose 0.8% and 1.3%, respectively, as they benefited from rising interest rates in the country.
Reliance Industries Ltd (NS: RELI ), the biggest stock in India, also rose 0.5% despite logging weaker-than-expected earnings in the December quarter, as the firm’s fuel refining business was dented by a windfall tax on exports.
Overall quarterly earnings released so far still painted a mixed picture for Indian equities, and suggested that high interest rates and relatively high inflation were beginning to weigh on sectors beyond banks.
Most Asian markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. But markets are betting that the Chinese economy will be substantially boosted by the week-long holiday, especially after the country lifted most anti-COVID restrictions and reopened its borders.
A Chinese economic recovery bodes well for Asian markets, given that most regional economies depend heavily on the country as a trading destination.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.3%, with regional markets also taking support from a strong lead-in from Wall Street on Friday. Focus this week is on a slew of major U.S. technology earnings, including heavyweights such as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ), Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA ), International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM ), and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC ).
Investors are growing increasingly cautious over a potential U.S. recession this year, as the country grapples with a sharp rise in interest rates and high inflation . Corporate earnings are expected to shed more light on this trend.
Focus this week is also on fourth-quarter U.S. GDP data due on Thursday. The reading is expected to show that growth in the world’s largest economy slowed in late-2022, and could potentially set a weak precedent for 2023.
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