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Indian Shares Muted as Infosys Gains and ITC Slides

Representative image.

Representative image.

India’s stock benchmarks have climbed more than 11% this month after a range of positive developments, including a high-spending federal budget, strong corporate earnings, and progress on COVID-19 vaccinations.

Indian shares were little changed on Friday as Infosys and other IT services stocks gained after having lagged the broader market for much of this month, while ITC slid after a lacklustre earnings report.

India’s stock benchmarks have climbed more than 11% this month after a range of positive developments, including a high-spending federal budget, strong corporate earnings, and progress on COVID-19 vaccinations.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.04% at 15,180.00 by 0430 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.08% to 51,572.31.

The Nifty IT index, tracking India’s software services firms, was up 1%, rising the most among 14 sectoral indexes. Up to Thursday’s close, the index had gained only about 5% in February, a month in which the Nifty 50 and most other sectors have seen double-digit gains.

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“We are seeing sectoral rotation, which is part of a bull market … IT has done well already, but after a pause, it is rallying again,” said A.K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital in Mumbai.

Prabhakar added that a withdrawal by India and China of some troops from a bitterly contested border area was also aiding sentiment.

Software services giant Infosys was the top boost to the Nifty 50 with a 1.8% gain.

Cigarettes-to-hotels conglomerate ITC fell nearly 4% after it posted lower December-quarter profit.

Bayer Cropscience plunged 6.4% after reporting a quarterly loss, while conglomerate Piramal Enterprises jumped 5.7% after its quarterly profit rose.

Other Asian shares hovered just below a record high as mixed U.S. economic data caused some investors to show restraint.

first published:February 12, 2021, 10:30 IST
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