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Indian shares edge higher as focus shifts to earnings

Indian shares edge higher as focus shifts to earnings

Indian shares edged higher on Thursday, helped by gains in metal and financial stocks, as focus shifted to the start of corporate earnings.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.43 per cent to 10,756.40 by 0345 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.53 per cent at 36,519.94.

Shares of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd rose nearly 1 per cent, lifting the Nifty IT index 0.5 per cent.

The IT services firm is due to report results later in the day, kicking off corporate earnings season for India Inc.

The Nifty banking index rose as much as 0.78per cent while the Nifty metal index gained over 1.5 per cent.

Indian shares stumbled on Wednesday after a five-day rally, as surging coronavirus infections weakened hopes of a swift economic recovery from the pandemic.

After trading in a narrow range for most of the day, the NSE Nifty 50 index closed down 0.87 per cent at 10,705.75, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.94 per cent to 36,329.01. The indexes had risen around 5 per cent over the last five sessions to four-month highs.

India's Nifty 50 has recovered about 42 per cent since the crash in March, even as government stimulus underwhelmed and cases rose.

Foreign investors turned net buyers of Asian shares in June for the first time in five months, with Indian equities leading the region with inflows of $2.89 billion.

"There is a tug between worries over the virus and its impact on the economy, and the liquidity push that is creating a support in the market," said Mayuresh Joshi, head of equity research at William O'Neil & Co in India.

On Wednesday, heavyweight conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd stepped back from recent record highs, settling 1.4 per cent lower, while shadow lender Bajaj Finance Ltd dropped 4.3 per cent after sharp gains in the previous session.

Automakers Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd slid 2.9 per cent and 3.4per cent, respectively, dragging the Nifty Auto Index 2 per cent lower.

The Nifty PSU Bank Index, which tracks state-run lenders, pared some gains, but still ended the day up 2.3per cent. - Reuters