U.S. Markets closed

Sensex closes near three-week high ahead of Infosys results

Brokers trade on their computer terminals at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai August 22, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

By Abhishek Vishnoi

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex rose on Thursday to its highest close in nearly three weeks, as Tata Motors surged to a record high on unit Jaguar Land Rover's sales while Infosys also edged up ahead of its July-September results.

While earnings would be the main focus, India's economic data namely industrial output on Friday and inflation prices on Monday are keenly awaited to find more bright spots in the economy after September trade data came in better than expected.

India likely saw little respite from high inflation levels in September as prices of food and imports continued to climb despite a relief rally in the battered rupee, a Reuters poll found.

Indian manufacturers increased production in August, although at a slower pace than in July, as infrastructure output rose, but access to cash was tougher, a Reuters poll found.

Local shares were also buoyed by signs of progress in U.S. budget talks which also helped European stocks edge off four-week lows.

"While the market is trading in a range, directional cues will come from how the results season pans out. Expect stock specific volatility to rise over the next few days," said Milan Bavishi, head of research at Inventure Growth and Securities.

The benchmark BSE Sensex rose 0.12 percent, or 23.65 points, to end at 20,272.91 after marking its highest intraday level since September 19.

The broader Nifty rose 0.22 percent, or 13.50 points, to end at 6,020.95.

Tata Motors' (NSI:TATAMOTORS) shares rose 4.9 percent after unit Jaguar Land Rover Ltd said in a statement that its September retail sales were up 17 percent, which dealers said were above expectations.

Infosys Ltd (NSI:INFY.NS - News) ended up 0.6 percent ahead of its July-September earnings results on Friday.

Among other IT stocks, Wipro Ltd (NSI:WIPRO.NS - News) ended 0.6 percent higher, while Tech Mahindra Ltd (NSI:TECHM.NS - News) rose 2.5 percent.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd (NSI:GLENMARK.NS - News) rose 1.4 percent after unit Glenmark Generics said it has filed lawsuit against Triax Pharmaceuticals, Astellas International, Astellas Pharma Europe, seeking to enforce Glenmark's exclusive royalty agreement for a key drug.

Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCEI.NS) gained 5 percent after a stock and currency exchange partly owned by the company announced changes to its management and board.

MphasiS Ltd (NSI:MPHASIS.NS - News) gained 2.5 percent, tracking gains in parent Hewlett-Packard Co (NYS:HPQ - News), which rose after its chief executive on Wednesday guided for a stable outlook for 2014 and a recovery in 2015, dealers said.

However, among stocks that fell, Reliance Industries Ltd (NSI:RELIANCE.NS - News) dropped 0.1 percent ahead of its September-quarter results on Monday.

(Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)