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India stocks edge higher, paced by Housing Development, ITC

Gains in index heavyweights offset losses in Infosys, Tata Motors

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Indian shares edged higher on Monday, as gains in index heavyweights

helped wipe off losses in Infosys and Tata Motors.

The BSE Sensex advanced 0.3% to 34,305.43 and the Nifty50 Index rose 0.5% to 10,528.35. Housing Development Finance Corp. added 1.6%, HDFC Bank gained 0.6%, and ITC climbed 1.4%.

Gains in the three stocks helped offset the 3.1% fall in Infosys after the software exporter cut its margin guidance for the financial year 2019 by 100 basis points. The company lowered its earnings-before-interest and tax margin guidance to 22% to 24% from 23% to 25% for the financial year 2018. Its March quarter net profit growth of 2.4% on-year was in line with estimates, as was its revenue guidance of 6% to 8% in constant currency terms. The company announced its earnings on Friday after market hours.

Jefferies said in a note that while the fourth-quarter performance and revenue guidance was in line with its estimates, that cut in margin guidance was a key disappointment. Morgan Stanley also said Infosys's margin outlook surprised negatively. Tata Consultancy Services, which reports earnings on Thursday, rose 1.1%, while Wipro, due to report results on April 25, closed 0.2% lower.

Meanwhile, news that the U.S., along with France and Britain, conducted missile strikes on Syria over the weekend damped investor appetite in the region. The Nikkei Asia300 Index of companies outside of Japan was down 0.6% on Monday.

Tata Motors dropped 5%. Reuters, citing a source, reported that the automaker's luxury unit Jaguar Land Rover will cut output and jobs at two factories in the U.K. amid uncertainty over Brexit and confusion over the county's diesel policy.

Cipla jumped 5.2%. Television channel CNBC-TV18, citing sources, reported that the U.S. health regulator, which recently completed an inspection of the company's facilities in the city of Indore, had nothing adverse to report following the examination.

ICICI Securities added 1.6% after reporting a more-than-90% jump in net profit for the quarter ended March 31. DCB Bank added 6% after the lender's March-quarter net profit climbed by 40%.

UCO Bank tumbled 6.5%. According to reports, India's federal investigating agency registered a case against the lender's former managing director for fraud.

--Nimesh Vora

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