Energy stocks boost Indian blue-chips; financials, IT cap gains

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares ended higher on Wednesday, helped by stronger energy stocks on the back of falling oil prices, although gains were limited by declines in financials and information technology (IT) stocks.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.19% higher at 19,443.50, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.05% to 64,975.61.

Energy and oil & gas rose 0.42% and 0.78%, respectively, as oil prices remained under pressure and continued to slip on waning demand in China and the U.S. [O/R]

Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd rose 3.06% and was the top Nifty 50 gainer, while Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd climbed 7.48%, helped by strong quarterly results.

In contrast, both financial services and IT fell over 0.2%, after having risen more than 2% each over the last four sessions.

“India’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals, stable corporate earnings, rising retail inflows, and increasing participation of domestic investors indicate positive construct for domestic equities,” said Santosh Pandey, president and head of Nuvama Professional clients group.

While the Nifty could witness consolidation for the next few sessions after the recent rise, the outperformance in small- and mid-caps will continue, aided by retail inflows, two analysts said.

Small- and mid-caps have gained 37% and 28% in 2023 so far, compared to 7.4% rise in the Nifty.

“There is no selling pressure in broader market since the ongoing foreign portfolio investors’ selling is confined to mostly large-caps,” said VK Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Small-caps rose 0.70% and hit a record high, while mid-caps gained 0.99%.

Pharma index rose 1.48%, led by post-earnings rally in Alkem Laboratories and Lupin following U.S. FDA approval for key drugs.

Real estate stocks jumped 1.52%, powered by 5.28% post-earnings surge in Prestige Estate Projects.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami, Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Varun H K)