May 10, 2018 / 6:46 AM / a year ago

Sensex little changed; Karnataka elections watched

(Reuters) - Indian shares were largely unchanged in dull trade on Thursday, with investors keeping to the sidelines ahead of elections in the southern state of Karnataka.

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be looking to gain a foothold in Karnataka, the first big state electing an assembly this year to be followed by three others before general elections next May.

Votes will be cast on Saturday with counting being held on May 15, and results will be declared later that day.

“Markets will react positively if BJP wins in Karnataka,” said Aditya Agarwal, head-technical research, Way2Wealth.

“Expect minor corrections in the next couple of sessions with the possibility of NSE even falling to 10,500. It could get a little volatile.”

The broader NSE Nifty was up 0.06 percent at 10,747.85 as of 0618 GMT, while the benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.15 percent higher at 35,373.64.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd was up 2.5 percent as Brent crude extended gains to hit 3-1/2 year-highs after the U.S. pulled out of a nuclear deal with Iran.

Banks were mostly trading higher with the Nifty Private Bank index extending gains into a tenth session. HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank rose about 1 percent each.

Eicher Motors Ltd rose nearly 3 percent after announcing upbeat March-quarter results on Wednesday.

Among the decliners, Federal Bank Ltd hit its lowest in over 2-1/2 years after March-quarter net profit fell 43 percent.

Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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