Indian blue-chips muted on global woes, mid-caps hit record high

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Anisha Ajith

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian blue-chip shares were little changed on Tuesday due to persistent concerns over U.S. interest rates and China’s economic health, although the mid-cap index rallied to a fresh record on brighter domestic prospects.

The Nifty 50 and S&P BSE Sensex indexes eked out a 0.01% gain each to end at 19,396.45 and 65,220.03, respectively, as a slide in heavyweight IT and financials stocks offset gains in other sectors.

“It is time to be prudent, to be in the wait-and-watch mode or book profits, rather than going all out to buy,” said Umesh Mehta, chief investment officer at Samco Mutual Fund.

“The risk-reward is not favourable in the near term for equity investors, not only in India but across the world.”

Nonetheless, the more domestically oriented Nifty mid-cap index added 1.10% and hit a fresh record high, while the small-cap index jumped 0.81%.

They have jumped roughly 22% so far this year, while the blue-chips have gained about 7%.

“In the next few months, the Nifty might remain in a broad range of 19,000-20,000, but mid-caps and small-caps could continue to outperform, given their earnings visibility” said Gaurav Dua, senior vice president, head of capital market strategy at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.

Five of the 13 main sectors declined. IT companies, which earn a significant share of their revenue from the U.S., lost 0.11% on worries about higher-for-longer interest rates in the world’s largest economy.

Reliance was flat, although its newly spun-off Jio Financial Services fell 5% again, which could see it retain its blue-chip index membership for a little longer.

Metal stocks followed metal price higher. [MET/L]. Index heavyweight Adani Enterprises rose 2.21%.

In fact, most Adani group stocks gained between 1% and 7%, extending their rally since GQG Partners boosted its stake in Adani Ports last week.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran, Manvi Pant and Anisha Ajith in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)