Financials rein in Indian shares’ auto stocks-driven jump

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares closed higher on Tuesday, led by a jump in auto stocks, but surrendered a lot of their gains in the final hour of trade due to a drop in financials on concerns of moderating earnings growth.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 ended 0.15% higher to 21,544.85 points, while the S&P BSE Sensex added just 0.04% to close at 71,386.21.

The two indexes had risen nearly 1% earlier in the session.

Bajaj Auto closed up 1.6%, and hit a record high earlier, after approving a share buyback proposal. It helped power the auto index 0.9% higher.

IT stocks added 0.4%, reversing the previous session’s losses, while realty stocks hit fresh record highs for the fifth session in a row.

But most of that was outweighed by a 0.4% drop in financials. The index, which carries the heaviest weightage among the 13 main sectors, had sunk 1.03% on Monday on worries of a slowdown in banks’ earnings growth in fiscal 2025.

Still, analysts expect the market to mostly drift until the earnings season kicks in.

“The near-term directionality will be solely dependent on the upcoming macroeconomic data and earnings,” said Sanjiv Hota, vice president and head of research at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.

Consumer goods dropped 0.2%, extending their drop from the previous session after Marico and Godrej Consumer Products said sales fell in the December quarter due to weak rural demand.

Zee Entertainment closed 7.9% lower after saying it was working to close its $10 billion merger with Sony’s India unit. The stock sank nearly 14% earlier on media reports that Sony wanted to scrap the deal. ($1 = 83.0787 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K, Janane Venkatraman and Savio D’Souza)