FMCG, realty stocks power Indian shares on May series expiry day

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares advanced on Thursday, led by fast moving consumer goods and realty stocks, while the ongoing U.S. debt talks weighed on sentiment and capped gains.

The blue-chip Nifty 50 index closed 0.20% higher at 18,321.15, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.16% to 61,872.62.

Both the benchmarks fell nearly 0.5% during the session, before reversing losses in the last hour on May derivatives series expiry day volatility.

Nine of the 13 major sectoral indexes logged gains.

Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) firm ITC Ltd jumped nearly 2% and powered the index to a record high, following a report that tipped the company and Nestle India Ltd as finalists in the race for ingredients’ maker Capital Foods Pvt Ltd. ITC and Nestle India have a combined 40% weightage in the index.

Adani Enterprises Ltd swung between 4% losses and 4% gains before closing 2.50% higher after the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange shortlisted the stock in the short-term Additional Surveillance Measure (ASM) framework Stage-I.

Exchanges place stocks in short-term or long-term ASM frameworks to caution investors about high volatility in share prices.

Realty stocks rose over 1% and was the top sectoral gainer.

On the other hand, Tata Motors Ltd lost 1% and was among the top Nifty 50 losers after UBS reiterated its “reduce” rating on the car-maker, flagging weakness in its launch pipeline compared to market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and potential saturation in market share due to competition.

Oil India Ltd fell over 3% after the company reported a sequential fall in core profit, dragged by higher operating costs.

“While the weakness in global markets due to U.S. debt talks weighed on sentiment, the overall positive structure for Nifty 50 remains intact,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

($1 = 82.7271 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and Sohini Goswami)