Indian shares rebound 1%, but fail to prevent worst week in a month

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s blue-chips bounced back by 1% on Friday, helped by some healthy corporate results and hopes of easing U.S. inflation, but a six-session losing streak ensured the indexes posted their worst weekly decline in more than a month.

The Nifty 50 index settled 1.01% higher at 19,047.25, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.01% to close at 63,782.80.

However, they lost nearly 2.5% this week, the steepest such drop since the week ended Sept. 22, buffeted by elevated U.S. yields, high oil prices and worries that the Middle East conflict could widen.

On the day, Nifty 50 constituents Cipla, Maruti Suzuki India gained 2.03% and 1.31%, respectively, on beating profit estimates for the September quarter.

Public sector banks gained 4.11%, boosted by post-earnings rallies in Punjab National Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and Canara Bank.

IT stocks, battered in the past two weeks by weak corporate earnings, gained 1.24% after data showed inflation cooled in the United States, a key market for IT companies.

“While the consolidation is likely to continue in Indian markets, a sharp correction in Nifty 50 is unlikely,” said Aishvarya Dadheech, chief investment officer at Fident Asset Management.

“Festive demand, a likely pre-election rally and reallocation to large-caps could power the benchmark.”

Even the more domestically focused small- and mid-caps gained, adding 2% and 1.5%, respectively.

They have lost 5.1% and 6.4%, respectively in the past six sessions. However, they are still up 30% and 23%, respectively, so far this year, well above the Nifty’s 5.2% increase.

“The correction in small- and mid-caps over the last week is still puny compared to the rally over the past six to seven months,” said analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities.

Reliance Industries rose 1.8% ahead of its quarterly results after the bell. The oil-to-telecom conglomerate is expected to post a 35.2% increase in profit.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami, Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Savio D’Souza)