* NSE index up 0.05 pct, BSE index 0.07 pct lower
* Asian shares up; Mkts almost price out Sept Fed hike
* HDFC down after seven consecutive sessions of gains
Sept 7 Indian shares were largely flat on
Wednesday, hovering near their highest level in 18 months, as
investors booked profit in recent outperformers such as Housing
Development Finance Corp Ltd.
Overall sentiment remained buoyant after surprisingly weak
U.S. services sector activity bolstered views the U.S. Federal
Reserve will refrain from raising interest rates at its policy
meeting this month.
Reflecting the optimism, Asian stocks rose to one-year highs
on Wednesday, while Wall Street closed higher overnight.
Foreign investors have been buying into Indian shares as
part of a shift to higher-yielding emerging markets, bringing
the total net investments in the year to $6.09 billion.
"Indian markets will continue to benefit from this
liquidity-driven rally as fundamentals have improved. Global
funds are pouring in money in good quality stocks for a long
term, so the trend remains positive," said Ashu Madan, president
of equity broking at Religare Securities.
The benchmark BSE index was 0.07 percent lower at
28,956.77 as of 0535 GMT, while the broader NSE index
was up 0.05 percent at 8,947.30.
Earlier in the session, the BSE index hit its highest since
April 15, 2015 while the NSE index rose to its strongest level
since March 4, 2015.
Among the decliners, engineering company Bharat Heavy
Electricals Ltd fell 2.2 percent ahead of its
June-quarter results later in the day.
Housing Development Finance Corp dropped 1.7 percent after
the mortgage lender gained 7.4 percent in the last seven
straight sessions, while Asian Paints Ltd declined 1.6
percent after adding 4 percent in the last two sessions.
Telecom firms Idea Cellular Ltd and Bharti Airtel
Ltd were down about 1 percent each. They fell 10.5 and
6.3 percent, respectively, on Thursday after Reliance Industries
announced its foray into the telecom sector, before
recovering over the next two sessions.
Meanwhile, mining and energy group Vedanta Ltd
rose 1.2 percent while oil producer Cairn India Ltd
gained 1 percent after shareholders of parent company Vedanta
Resources approved Vedanta's takeover of subsidiary Cairn India.
Oil India Ltd hit its highest level since Jan. 6
and was last up 1.6 percent after June-quarter results came in
line with expectations.
(Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Editing by