Energy stocks power India’s blue-chip indexes to new highs

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s benchmark Nifty ended higher on Tuesday, reversing course from a subdued start, led by energy stocks after the federal government announced a windfall tax cut.

The NSE Nifty 50 index gained 0.16% to 21,453.10, while the S&P BSE Sensex settled 0.17% higher at 71,437.19.

Both the Nifty and Sensex hit record highs for the tenth session out of the 13 sessions of trade in December so far.

Energy, the third-heaviest sectoral index on the benchmark, rose 1.58%, after the government cut a windfall tax on petroleum crude and diesel and on steady power demand.

Coal India, NTPC were among the top Nifty 50 gainers.

Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, Oil India, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals and Chennai Petroleum Corporation climbed between 0.75% and 6.5%.

Nestle India added 4.66% to a record high after fixing a record date for its stock split. The stock also powered the consumer index 1.41% higher.

The information technology index lost about 1%, snapping a recent rally. The index has gained 8.5% in December so far, including Tuesday’s losses.

The Nifty has risen 6.56% in December, and is on course for its best month since July 2022.

“While the outlook for Indian markets remains positive, we are entering a lull period, the foreign inflows and trading volumes will go down in the second half of December,” said Aishvarya Dadheech, founder and chief investment officer at Fident Asset Management.

“The Nifty will likely consolidate near current levels till the end of 2023,” Dadheech added.

Asian markets were subdued after the Bank of Japan left its outlook and ultra-easy monetary policy unchanged. [MKTS/GLOB]

Reliance Industries, the second-heaviest stock in the Nifty 50, gained about 1.5% to hit a four-month high on block deals.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises lost 3.14% after Sony Pictures Networks India said it has not yet agreed to a merger deadline extension.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K, Janane Venkatraman and Sonia Cheema)