India's main index recovered from its lowest intraday level since January 9 to gain yesterday after stronger-than-expected earnings from State Bank of India (SBI) relieved concerns about non-performing assets and credit growth in the lending sector.
The earnings from India's biggest bank offset a day of continued global risk aversion that pummelled Asian shares, but were not enough to prevent the BSE index from posting its fourth consecutive weekly loss.
Analysts said the gains yesterday would prove temporary, and that concerns about global markets, as well as about India's economic and fiscal challenges would soon dominate trade.
Slowing policy reforms from the government have also been a key concern for investors, and have contributed to send the rupee to its third consecutive daily record low against the dollar yesterday.
"Changes on the policy front are required and I don't expect that to happen ... and therefore markets may go to December lows because of deteriorating macro conditions" said Sandeep Bharadwaj, head India Equities at brokerage Derivium Tradition.
The 30-share BSE index gained 0.5 per cent to 16,152.75 after earlier falling as much as 1.6 per cent to four-month lows, and not far from levels in December when Indian markets were also hit hard by global as well as domestic factors.
India's main index fell 0.86 per cent for the week.
The 50-share NSE index added 0.44 per cent to end at 4,891.45 yesterday.
SBI rose 5 per cent and was among the day's big gainers after it reported net profit surged to Rs40.50 billion (Dh2.79 billion) for the January-March quarter from a small profit a year earlier.
Analysts were particularly heartened after SBI set aside Rs28.4 billion for bad loans in the March quarter, nearly 13 per cent less than in the same period a year earlier.
SBI's gains pushed up other banks as ICICI Bank, the country's biggest private lender, rose 2.3 per cent.
Shares of airlines surged as the steep falls in crude oil prices helped offset worries that a dropping rupee would raise the cost of fuel imports. Jet Airways rose 6.3 per cent while Spicejet ended 8.7 per cent higher.
Mahindra Satyam gained 5.7 per cent after reporting swinging to a better-than-expected profit of Rs5.34 billion in January-March from a loss of Rs3.27 billion in the same period last year.
But some blue chips extended a rout, with shares in Tata Motors down 4.15 per cent on continued worries about global sales after it reported flat growth in April, shedding 12.64 per cent for the week.
India's auto shares were the biggest losers last week with the auto index down 5.6 per cent.