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Sensex, Nifty Flat as Gains in Reliance Offset Weakness in Banks

Image for representation. (Reuters photo)

Image for representation. (Reuters photo)

The NSE Nifty 50 index and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex were down about 0.05% at 12,685.2 and 43,333.69, respectively, by 0526 GMT. The indexes, which are on track for a second straight week of gains, had risen as much as 0.36% during the session.

Indian shares were little changed in a choppy trading session on Friday as gains in Reliance Industries offset weakness in banks and limited losses on the main indexes.

The NSE Nifty 50 index and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex were down about 0.05% at 12,685.2 and 43,333.69, respectively, by 0526 GMT. The indexes, which are on track for a second straight week of gains, had risen as much as 0.36% during the session.

Reliance rose as much as 2.8%, recovering from a 5% drop in the last two sessions. The oil-to-telecoms conglomerate is India's most valuable company with a market capitalization of over 13 trillion rupees ($174.19 billion) and a weightage of over 13% among the Nifty's components.

The Nifty banking index fell 1.3% after rising more than 20% in an eight-day winning streak until Wednesday.

"To some extent banks have tried to lead revival hopes, but they need a broader-based economic recovery to come back to their pre-COVID levels," said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Private-sector lenders Indusind Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank fell over 1.3% each.

Meanwhile, India's retail inflation was over 7% in October for a second straight month and remained above the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) target of 2%-6%, giving the central bank little room to cut rates.

Though the numbers were on the higher side, the uptick in inflation showed a pick up in consumer activity, Geojit's James said, adding that, historically, inflation numbers would go up during the festival season in October and November.

Among other sectors, the Nifty realty rose about 0.9% after the government announced a new set of stimulus measures, including additional funding for real estate developers and contractors.

The Nifty pharma index also rose about 0.9%.

($1 = 74.6320 Indian rupees)

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