Indian shares flat as financials offset US data-powered IT

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares erased gains and settled near the session’s low on Wednesday as a rise in IT stocks on easing interest rate concerns in the United States was offset by a late slide in financials, dragged by private lender HDFC Bank on block deals.

The Nifty 50 index settled 0.02% higher at 19,347.45, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.02% to 65,087.25.

Both the blue-chips had risen over 0.5% during the session.

Financials closed 0.50% lower on selling pressure in final hour of the session, after having risen 0.58% earlier in the day. Heaviest Nifty 50 stock HDFC Bank led the losses, shedding 0.73% on multiple block deals.

The late slide in blue-chips and financials mirrored the fall in European markets on weak economic data from Germany and Spain. [MKTS/GLOB]

“Markets were extremely choppy towards the closing hours as investors resorted to profit-taking in select stocks,” said Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd.

IT climbed 0.77% after U.S. economic data backed bets that the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening had resulted in a cooling economy. IT firms earn a significant share of their revenue from the U.S.

Metal stocks extended gains for a third straight session, adding 0.92% on the day, on China’s measures supporting its property sector. China is the world’s largest metals producer and consumer.

Tata Steel <TISC.NS rose 2.13% and was among the top Nifty 50 gainers.

Mid-caps and small-caps added 0.73% and 1.03%, respectively, and hit new all-time highs. The broader market indexes have gained over 24% each in 2023 so far, more than thrice the 6.86% rise in blue-chip Nifty 50.

Zomato gained 5.39% after 100 million shares changed hands in multiple block deals, while index heavyweight Reliance Industries fell marginally on low volumes. The oil-to-telecom conglomerate logged losses in the last five sessions, shedding 4.13%.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K, Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Janane Venkatraman)