Indian shares recover to end higher; Vedanta plunges as Moody’s downgrades parent

By Sethuraman N R

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares shrugged off a weak start to finish slightly higher on Wednesday, as a recovery in global markets brought some sense of stability among investors, while Vedanta slumped after Moody’s downgraded the miner’s parent.

The Nifty 50 closed up 0.26% at 19,716.45 points, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.3% to end at 66,118.69 points.

The indexes were lower in the morning session, but consumer and pharma companies led the recovery.

Global stocks inched higher on the day, while U.S. Treasury yields dipped after hitting their highest level since 2007 on expectations of higher-for-longer interest rates.

“When the market corrects, there are always some bounce back. Still, the trend for markets is down on weak global cues,” said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities.

The more domestically focused small-caps ended up 1%, while mid-caps rose 0.7%.

The IT and pharma indexes rose for the first time in seven sessions, gaining 0.4% and 1.2%, respectively. Fast moving consumer goods rose 0.8%.

“The FMCG and pharma sectors outperformed, with investors adopting a defensive approach to navigate global challenges,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

“However, persistent outflows of foreign funds and rising U.S. bond yields are expected to keep the broader indices in bleak terrain, in the near-term.”

Foreign institutional investors (FIIS) remained net sellers this month, having offloaded equities worth about $1.5 billion on a net basis, after being net buyers for the past six months.

Among individual stocks, Vedanta slumped nearly 7% after Moody’s downgraded parent Vedanta Resources’ senior unsecured bonds, citing a high risk of debt restructuring in the coming months.

Larsen and Toubro was the top gainer on the Nifty, rising 1.8%, while Titan Co was the top drag, falling by 1.5%.

(Reporting by Sethuraman NR in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)