BENGALURU: Indian shares closed broadly unchanged on Thursday, swinging from a higher open to succumbing to profit-booking along the way, as caution set in ahead of the quarterly earnings season.

The NSE Nifty 50 and the S&P BSE Sensex dipped a marginal 0.03% to end at 24,315.95 and 79,897.34, respectively.

They struggled for direction through most of the session, hurt in part by a drop in bank stocks due to earnings worries.

“After the sharp rally since the beginning of June on policy continuity, it’s obvious that there will be some anxiety ahead of earnings season and a big event like the national budget, which will define the market’s trajectory over the next few weeks,” said Sanjeev Hota, vice president and head of research at Sharekhan.

TCS, India’s top IT services company, gained 0.37% ahead of its quarterly results, which traditionally kicks off the earnings season. Moments after the close, it reported a slightly bigger-than-expected quarterly revenue.

Mahindra & Mahindra, banks hold up Indian shares’ record rally

“Besides earnings and the commentary, the joker in the pack for Indian markets is the Federal Reserve’s timing of a rate cut,” said Kranthi Bathini, director of equity strategy at Wealthmills Securities.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said “more good data” would build the case for rate cuts. The odds of a rate cut in September are about 75% and will get the next cue from data later in the day that is expected to show easing U.S. inflation.

HPCL rose 4.45% after Macquarie upgraded the stock to “outperform” and called it its top pick among oil marketing firms, due to expectations of steady volumes.

Local media reported the national budget on July 23 could include the launch of a fund to help shipping firms avail loans at lower costs.

That sent Shipping Corporation of India, Garden Reach Shipbuilders, Cochin Shipyard, Mazagon Dock and Seamec between 5% and 20% higher.

They were among the top gainers in the small- and mid-cap indexes, which added 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively.


200 characters