Indian shares flat, Asian Paints soars after strong results

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s benchmark Nifty 50 stock index was flat in volatile trading on Friday as losses in heavyweight IT and financial shares offset a surge in Asian Paints following strong quarterly results.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India October 4, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

The NSE Nifty 50 index edged down 0.09% to 14,683.2 by 0459 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was 0.03% higher at 48,702.98. Both indexes are set to finish the holiday-shortened week about 1% lower after losses earlier in the week on U.S. inflation worries.

“While there is not much movement on either side of the needle, there is a lot of sector rotation in the market. A lot of money is moving from large banks into sectors like pharmaceuticals and healthcare,” said Siddharth Purohit, Research Analyst at SMC Global Securities.

“Corporate results for the fourth quarter have also not been as bad as expected, and that has helped the market hold on to current levels.”

Paint maker Asian Paints soared nearly 11% after reporting a jump in quarterly profit and was the top boost to the Nifty.

Agrochemical maker UPL surged 9.4% to a near 26-year high after solid quarterly results and upbeat forecast.

The Nifty Pharma index gave up early gains but was headed for its eighth week of gains, while the Nifty Bank index was set for weekly losses of more than 1%.

The Nifty Metal index dropped 3.4% and was on course for a weekly loss as metal prices slid after a record-setting rally, while IT firms Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys fell 1.5% and 1.2%, respectively. [IRONORE/]

Data released on Wednesday showed Indian inflation eased to a three-month low in April, but experts warned that lockdowns risk creating supply bottlenecks that could fuel price pressures in coming months.

Nifty components Larsen & Toubro, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories are scheduled to report results on Friday.

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