Chipmakers drive Asian gains

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A surge for Tata Consultancy Services shares helped the Mumbai market extend a recovery from its recent correction while a rally for technology shares provided a broader boost for Asian stocks.

The BSE Sensex index rose 1.1 per cent to 19,092.05, a second day of gains after a fall of more than 10 per cent on inflation and business scandal concerns since its record high in November.

“It looks like a corporate earnings-driven rally and, if we get a few more good sets of numbers in the days ahead, then the markets will be able to extend gains,” Neeraj Dewan of Quantum Securities told Reuters.

Tata Consultancy, India’s largest software services company, jumped to record intraday and closing highs after beating estimates with a 30 per cent jump in quarterly profit and stating that it expected strong demand for outsourcing.

Its shares closed up 5.7 per cent to Rs1,203 after having risen as much as 6 per cent to an all-time high of Rs1,207 in the wake of the results announcement.

Tata’s strong outlook also boosted its rivals with Infosys Technologies, India’s number two, rising 1 per cent to Rs3,323 and third-ranked Wipro gaining 2.5 per cent to Rs478.55.

Region-wide, the FTSE Asia-Pacific index advanced for the first time in three sessions, up 0.5 per cent to 268.01, nearing a 30-month peak. Reports that Elpida Memory, the world’s third-largest maker of computer memory chips, plans to raise chip prices by about 10 per cent as early as this month provided a boost for the sector across the region.

Elpida climbed 1.1 per cent to Y1,099, helping to lift Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 Average 0.2 per cent to 10,518.98.

Seoul’s chipmakers were also a big beneficiary. “The report of Elpida’s price rise plan points to similar moves by domestic memory chipmakers and strengthens sentiment towards the sector,” said James Song of Daewoo Securities.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest memory chipmaker, climbed 2.1 per cent to Won969,000 while Hynix Semiconductor, the number two, gained 2.8 per cent to Won27,650.

The Shanghai Composite halted the momentum of the previous session’s steep 3 per cent fall by rising 0.1 per cent to 2,708.98 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was flat at 24,153.98.

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