August 13, 2014 / 9:43 AM / 3 years ago

Sensex, Nifty up a tad; BHEL falls 6.5 percent

A man walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai December 5, 2013.Danish Siddiqui/Files

MUMBAI, Aug 13 - The BSE Sensex and Nifty edged higher on Wednesday, gaining for a third consecutive session as a weak rupee boosted IT firms although broader gains were capped by disappointing earnings from blue chips such as Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.

Gains were also limited after data on Tuesday showed higher-than-expected consumer price inflation in July, reducing prospects the Reserve Bank of India would cut interest rates any time soon.

Analysts said they expect gains to be muted after the market had rallied for most of the year, with indexes setting their latest record highs in late July.

"Markets are consolidating. Some sectors, such as infrastructure and banking, are out of favour as these stocks have run up sharply. Though the overall outlook remains bullish, sectoral preferences have changed dramatically," said Deven Choksey, managing director at KR Choksey Securities.

The benchmark BSE Sensex closed 0.15 percent higher at 25,918.95, while the broader Nifty ended up 0.16 percent at 7,739.55.

IT companies advanced as a weaker rupee is expected to boost overseas earnings when converted back into the domestic currency.

A broker monitors share prices while trading at a brokerage firm in Mumbai August 22, 2013.Danish Siddiqui/Files

The rupee has been down around 1.2 percent against the dollar so far this month.

Infosys Ltd gained 0.9 percent on a weak rupee, Tata Consultancy Services closed up 1.1 percent and HCL Technologies ended 2.8 percent higher.

Defensive stocks such as healthcare and consumer durables have also gained on risk aversion. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries closed 2.2 percent higher, while Hindustan Unilever Ltd ended 2.5 percent higher.

Among other gainers, Eicher Motors gained 11.5 percent, adding to its 8.2 percent gain on Tuesday after its April-June quarter earnings beat analyst estimates.

However, gains were limited because of the fall in BHEL, which ended 6.5 percent lower at 209.70 rupees, its lowest level since May 13, after it reported a 59 percent fall in its June quarter profits.

Lenders fell on waning expectations of interest rate cuts. State Bank of India SBI.NS closed down 2.5 percent while, ICICI Bank ended 0.8 percent lower.

Shares in Tata Steel Ltd ended 1.4 percent lower ahead of its earnings. The steel maker reported a 70 percent fall in June quarter earnings soon after trading hours.

Reporting by Indulal PM; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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