Indian shares ended flat in see-saw Thursday trade, outperforming the world markets which were in the red, with top lender State Bank of India soaring to a record as its June-quarter results beat street view.
State Bank of India rose as much as 7.5 percent to a record high of 2,797.80 rupees, after posting a 25-percent jump in its June-quarter net profit.
"I would recommend buying the stock after the fantastic results. The net interest income has risen sharply," said Gajendra Nagpal, CEO of Unicon Financial.
The 30-share BSE index closed 0.02 percent or 3.71 points higher at 18,073.90 points, with 12 of its components advancing. "SBI was one of the factors that saved us.
Also, Europe was trading in the green," said Nagpal, who expects the market to consolidate for a while, adding, the long-term trend was optimistic.
Investors shrugged riskier assets, on worries over global economic growth, dragging world equities down.
The MSCI world equity index was down 0.3 percent at 1035 GMT while the more volatile emerging markets index shed 0.9 percent.
Industrial output in Asia's third-largest economy rose at its slowest pace in 13 months in June, but the central bank is still expected to roll out more rate rises from next month as it battles double-digit inflation.
Foreign funds have poured in $11.3 billion so far in 2010 in Indian equities, a part of which was absorbed by primary market issuance.
The benchmark index is up 3.5 percent year to date. These inflows add to a record $17.5 billion investment in 2009, which saw the index gain 81 percent.
Hindustan Unilever rose 2.2 percent riding on India's domestic consumption story even as the top household products and consumer goods maker battled with intensifying competition, dealers said.
Energy giant Reliance Industries contributed the most to the main index's losses on continued concerns about the delay in the ramp up of its gas production, in the absence of any near-term triggers.
The stock, which weighs the most on the main index, closed 1.1 percent lower. It has lost 7.7 percent since July 27, when it unveiled its quarterly results. Export-oriented software companies declined as worries on global economic growth gripped investors.
Top outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services fell 0.4 percent while peers Infosys Technologies and Wipro shed 1.2 percent each.
Tata Motors rose as much as 2.5 percent to 1,031.80 rupees, its highest level in at least 20 years, as investors were upbeat about its street-smashing, June-quarter results announced earlier this week.
"In view of JLR's (Jaguar Land Rover) turnaround and Tata Motors' outstanding performance on the margins front, we now upgrade the stock from Moderate Outperform to Outperform," First Global said in a note. The stock closed 1.7 percent higher at 1,024 rupees.
Top utility vehicles maker Mahindra & Mahindra closed 0.8 percent higher after falling as much as nearly 2 percent. Earlier, troubled South Korean firm Ssangyong Motor named it as the preferred bidder.
Tata Power shed 0.4 percent as the country's largest private sector utility said June-quarter net profit dropped by a third.
Tata Steel, world's seventh-largest steelmaker by output, closed 0.1 percent lower ahead of its June-quarter results announcement scheduled after market hours.
The benchmark BSE index has outperformed its emerging market peers such as China's Shanghai Composite Index and Brazil's Bovespa which have shed 21.4 percent and 4.1 percent respectively year to date.
Its peer Russia's RTS index has gained 0.4 percent so far in 2010.
In the broader market, losers outnumbered gainers in the ratio of 1.3:1, in a volume of 412 million shares.
The 50-share NSE index dipped 0.1 percent at 5,416.45 points.
STOCKS THAT MOVED
Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries declined 2.6 percent to 167.85 rupees, as London copper prices dropped as a murky outlook for the global economy fuelled selling.
Property developer Parsvnath Developers firmed 2.5 percent to 138.10 rupees, as it said late Wednesday April-June net profit more than doubled.
Cairn India, a unit of Cairn Energy closed 2.4 percent higher at 340.60 rupees, on a report India-focused miner Vedanta is in talks to buy assets or a stake in British oil and gas company.
After markets closed, Vedanta Resources confirmed that discussions were taking place with Cairn Energy regarding an acquisition of an interest in Cairn India.
MAIN TOP THREE BY VOLUME
Unitech on 7.8 million shares
IFCI on 7.3 million shares
Himachal Futuristic on 5.1 million shares