Indian shares little changed as bets on earnings offset selloff in bank stocks
MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Indian shares ended little changed after a choppy trading session on Wednesday, as expectations of stronger quarterly earnings helped offset a sell-off in some banking stocks.
The benchmark BSE Sensex index gained 0.06%, or 17.47 points, to 29,336.57, while the broader NSE Nifty 50 index declined 0.02%, or 1.65 points, at 9,103.50.
"The markets saw relatively subdued action after an extremely volatile session yesterday," said Sameet Chavan, chief technical analyst at Angel Broking. "The Nifty attempted to slide further in the penultimate hour, but strong buying near the lows helped the index recover."
Financial stocks, with the biggest weight on benchmark indices, ended mixed on Wednesday. IndusInd Bank, a constituent of the Nifty, ended down 0.6% at 1,422.75 rupees, despite reporting a 21% on-year increase in net income. State Bank of India, the nation's largest, declined 2.1% to 284.20 rupees. Private lender ICICI Bank fell 0.7% to 280.95 rupees.
However, HDFC Bank, India's biggest lender by market value, rose 0.1% to 1,447.05 rupees ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings on Friday.
The Reserve Bank of India late Tuesday asked lenders to make additional provisioning for loans given to stressed sectors of the economy and advised them to increase provisioning on loans to telecom companies immediately.
The BSE Information Technology index fared worse than the broader market, declining 0.3% to its lowest levels since February.
Index heavyweight Infosys lost 0.4% to end at 918.80 rupees, racking up a cumulative loss of more than 5% since Apr. 13 after it announced a lower-than-expected revenue guidance for the fiscal year started in April.
Rival Tata Consultancy Services, India's largest company by market capitalization, shed 0.3% to 2,301.75 rupees. Late Tuesday, the company reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, with revenue rising a modest 4.2% on-year.
Software stocks have underperformed so far this year as a stronger rupee and concerns related to visa issues in the U.S., their main market, remain an overhang, analysts said.
State-run National Aluminium Co. slumped 7.8% to 67.75 rupees. After market hours on Tuesday, the government said it aims to sell up to a 10% stake in the company through an offer for sale on stock exchanges at a floor price of 67 rupees apiece. The sale started Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, China's Shanghai Composite index fell 0.8% and South Korea's Kospi index declined 0.5%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.4% while Japan's Nikkei 225 index ended up 0.1%.
--Dhanya Ann Thoppil