November 15, 2018 / 6:35 AM / 8 months ago

Nifty, Sensex inch higher as weak oil prices support sentiment

A broker trades on his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

(Reuters) - Indian shares edged higher in lacklustre trade on Thursday as weak crude oil prices kept investor sentiment upbeat, cushioning the blow from Yes Bank Ltd’s plunge after the private-sector lender’s chairman stepped down.

Global oil prices have lost around a quarter of their value since early October, boding well for the rupee and boosting positive sentiment as cheaper oil lightens India’s import bill and eases inflation.

Oil prices slipped on Thursday after a brief rebound, weighed down by concerns of rising supply.

The broader NSE Nifty was up 0.24 percent at 10,601.55 as of 0552 GMT, while the benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.31 percent higher at 35,250.16. The rupee firmed as much as 0.4 percent to 72.04 against the dollar, compared to its close of 72.305 on Wednesday.

Gains in Indian stocks were bound to happen as they had earlier corrected because of higher crude prices, said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities.

IT giant Infosys Ltd rose 1.5 percent and was the top boost to the index, following heavy losses in the previous session.

HDFC Bank Ltd, India’s largest lender by market capitalization, edged 0.7 percent higher, while Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd rose as much as 1.9 percent.

Shares of Yes Bank Ltd plummeted 9.1 percent after its chairman resigned on Wednesday, exacerbating woes at its top management. The stock was the top drag on the Nifty.

Grasim Industries Ltd plunged 9.1 percent in its sharpest intraday percentage fall in two years after posting a quarterly loss late on Thursday.

Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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