* BSE up 0.15 pct; NSE ends 0.4 pct higher
* Novartis loses landmark India patent case on Glivec
* Larsen and Toubro gets contract worth 56.89 bln rupees
By Manoj Dharra
MUMBAI, April 1 Indian shares edged higher in
the first trading session of a new fiscal year, as Infosys
gained on optimism about its fourth-quarter earnings, while
Larsen & Toubro gained after winning a $1 billion power plant
Although Monday marked the third consecutive session of
gains, the outlook for shares remains weighed down by concerns
about the Indian economy after data on Thursday showed the
current account deficit for the October-December quarter widened
to a record high of 6.7 percent of GDP.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday reiterated the
government's commitment to additional economic reforms during a
news conference in Tokyo, but investors remained concerned about
political stability after the withdrawal of a key ally from the
ruling coalition last month.
Investors are also gearing up for earnings later this month,
which would indicate how much impact the struggling economy is
having on corporate profits.
"Q4 results will reflect some pressure on revenues and
margins but they may be near the trough levels," said Paras
Adenwala, Managing Director & Principal Portfolio Manager,
Capital Portfolio Advisors.
The benchmark BSE index ended up 0.15 percent, or
28.98 points, at 18,864.75 after gaining 0.8 percent over the
previous two sessions. Markets were closed on Friday for a
The broader NSE index rose 0.38 percent, or 21.85
points, to 5,704.40.
The weaker economy remains a drag on indexes that just last
week had hit their lowest since late November 2012.
Other data on Monday showed the HSBC manufacturing PMI
fell to 52.0 in March, dragged down by cooling
domestic and foreign demand, while infrastructure sector output
slumped 2.5 percent in February from a year
Still, individual shares pushed up indexes on Monday.
Larsen & Toubro shares gained 2.4 percent after
the company said it has received an 56.89-billion-rupee contract
for a power plant in Rajasthan.
Shares in Infosys Ltd gained 2 percent on hopes
about its January-March quarter earnings, due on April 12.
In January, Infosys had unexpectedly raised its sales
forecast for the year ending March 31 to at least $7.45 billion,
including $104 million in additional revenue following its
acquisition of Switzerland-based consultancy Lodestone Holdings
Shares in Cairn India Ltd rose 5 percent after
Kotak Institutional Equities upgraded the stock to "buy" from
"add" and kept its target price of 340 rupees, saying the
current price provides a good entry point as valuations and
expectations have turned reasonable.
Dr.Reddy's Laboratories Ltd gained 3.4 percent
after the company on Thursday said it launched Zenatane, a
generic version of Accutane drug, following its approval by the
United States Food & Drug Administration.
Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd shares gained 3 percent
after unit Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals resumed supply of
Atorvastatin calcium tablets in the U.S.
Meanwhile, generic drug makers Natco Pharma Ltd
rose 5.4 percent while Cipla Ltd gained 1.3 percent
after India's highest court dismissed Swiss drugmaker Novartis
AG's petition seeking patent for its cancer drug
The landmark judgment has the potential to change the
direction of India's pharmaceutical business, according to
Novartis India shares ended 1.8 percent lower.
Among other decliners, Sterlite Industries (India)
shares fell 4.5 percent after the company said a copper smelter
run by the company in the southern Tamil Nadu state has been
closed after a preliminary inspection by state pollution
(Additional reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi; Editing by Sunil