BENGALURU: Indian shares were on course for a fifth straight monthly rise even as markets struggled in a tight range on Thursday with energy stocks negating gains in public sector banks.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.13% to 17,688.1 by 0502 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was 0.07% lower at 59,369.68.

Indian stocks were trying to stabilise after two straight sessions of corrections, said Siddharth Sedani, senior VP and head of equity sales at Anand Rathi Financial Services.

The market could remain volatile and move in a tight range in the absence of triggers until the corporate earnings season begins, he added.

Indian equities have gained more than 3% so far this month as accommodative monetary policy and easing COVID-19 restrictions kept investor sentiment underpinned.

However, concerns about a global economic recovery, heightened expectations of tighter US monetary policy, and risks from a power crunch in China and a possible default by debt-laden China Evergrande checked the advance of equities towards the end of the month.

Public sector banks advanced about 3%, driven by a 16% surge in Indian Overseas Bank after the country's central bank took it out of the prompt corrective action framework over an improvement in its financial profile.

Real estate stocks rose about 1%, with Oberoi Realty jumping 3.6% to lead gains on the sub-index.

Energy stocks declined after three straight sessions of gains, with Oil and Natural Gas Corp dropping 1.7% to be among the top Nifty 50 losers.

Media stocks were lower, with takeover target Zee Entertainment falling 1% a day after its top shareholders approached the country's company law tribunal asking the company to hold an extraordinary general meeting.


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