REUTERS - Indian shares edged up on Wednesday tracking U.S. and Asian counterparts on upbeat global economic data, but gains were tempered by caution ahead of corporate results and the government’s annual budget.
Shares in the U.S. and Asia were boosted by a round of factory surveys from China, the euro zone and United States that pointed to more momentum in the global economy.
U.S. factory activity accelerated to a two-year high in December, while manufacturing in the euro zone grew at its fastest pace in five years and China’s factory activity was better than expected.
“While positive global data could help strengthen foreign inflows which in turn could support market gains, the market is unlikely to find a big direction for now because key focus is on the budget session and upcoming earnings season,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head of research at Centrum Wealth.
Corporate results are scheduled to start next week and the government’s budget is due on Feb. 1.
India’s services industry ended 2016 on a sour note, contracting for a second month in a row in December as orders shrank amid a severe cash shortage, according to a private business survey on Wednesday.
The broader NSE Nifty was up 0.12 percent at 8,202.2 as of 0514 GMT, while the benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.07 percent higher at 26,662.63.
Auto stocks contributed most to gains on the indexes, rising as much as 1.1 percent to their highest since Nov. 11. Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto were up 2.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.
Denim fabric manufacturer Nandan Denim Ltd surged as much as 13.5 pct to its highest since Nov. 16 after the Reserve Bank of India raised the company’s foreign investment limit.
Bharti Airtel declined for a second session, falling as much as 1.7 percent after the company said it would offer free data to woo new and existing 4G customers, intensifying a price war in the sector.
Reporting by Samantha Kareen Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri