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Indian shares falter after hitting record highs; investors await GDP data
May 31, 2017 / 6:48 AM / 4 months ago

Indian shares falter after hitting record highs; investors await GDP data

* Both NSE and BSE indexes flat

* Reliance Communications hits record low

* GDP data expected later in the day

By Krishna V Kurup

May 31 (Reuters) - Indian shares were flat after hitting record highs on Wednesday as investors waited for gross domestic product data due later in the day and searched for fresh corporate triggers with the results season coming to an end.

India is set to post annual GDP growth of 7.1 percent in the January-March quarter, which would allow it to hang on to its status as the world’s fastest growing major economy, according to economists polled by Reuters.

Hopes for an improving economy have helped Indian shares hit a string of record highs in May, with the benchmark BSE index adding 4.2 percent for the month, its best monthly performance since May 2016 and fifth consecutive monthly gain.

The NSE index has gained 3.5 percent so far this month.

“Markets are consolidating over the past few days after moving sharply up and after the results there are no further triggers going ahead,” said Dipen Shah, senior vice president and head of private client group research at Kotak Securities.

Both the NSE index and the BSE index were flat at 0640 GMT.

Among losers, Reliance Communications Ltd plunged as much as 9.5 percent to its lowest ever after Moody’s downgraded it deeper into “junk” territory and kept its ratings under review for further downgrade as the company struggles with a heavy debt burden.

But United Spirits Ltd rose to its highest since March 15 after posting gains in March-quarter margins and revenue.

Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd gained as much as 6.4 percent after the company reported nearly 20 percent rise in March-quarter profit, beating analysts’ estimates.

Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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