Indian shares rise on improved sentiment amid earnings rush

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares edged higher on Tuesday, boosted by strong fourth-quarter earnings from heavyweights Reliance Industries Ltd and ICICI Bank Ltd, as investors awaited a raft of quarterly earnings reports due later this week.

The Nifty 50 closed 0.15% higher at 17,769.25, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.12%.

Nine of the 13 major sectoral indexes advanced with high weightage financials and information technology (IT) closing little changed.

The better-than-expected fourth-quarter results from Reliance and ICICI Bank late last week offset the slide that IT stocks had triggered on weak earnings and outlook from major firms such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd.

“Nifty is showing signs of an upside breakout of the small narrow range,” said Nagaraj Shetti, technical research analyst at HDFC Securities. “But a decisive upside breakout could only occur if Nifty surpasses the crucial 17,865 level.”

Analysts expect markets to remain range-bound for the next few sessions, with a positive bias as earnings begin to stream in.

Private lender IndusInd Bank Ltd rose nearly 2% on reporting a better-than-expected profit for the March quarter. The stock is among the top gainers in the Nifty 50.

Non-banking financial company Bajaj Finance Ltd climbed 2.38% ahead of fourth-quarter results due on Wednesday, while technology firm ABB India Ltd added nearly 4% after its global parent ABB Global raised its 2023 revenue guidance.

On the flip side, shares of IPCA Laboratories Ltd lost over 10% after the company agreed to buy a 33.38% stake in Unichem Laboratories Ltd for up to 10.34 billion rupees ($126.3 million). IPCA was the top loser in the pharma index.

($1 = 81.8675 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil, Sonia Cheema, and Janane Venkatraman)