March 13, 2019 / 6:24 AM / 6 months ago

Indian shares inch higher; Jet Airways, SpiceJet down

* NSE index up 0.19 pct, BSE index 0.36 pct higher

* Trend to be buoyant until election - analyst

* Govt grounds Boeing 737 Max aircraft

By Tanvi Mehta

March 13 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged higher on Wednesday, extending gains to their highest in nearly six months, amid weakness in broader Asia over Brexit worries.

Foreign institutional investors have once again begun pumping money into Indian equities on hopes of a second term for the current government.

“Political risk has now abated and the market is discounting that. The trend up to elections will be quite buoyant... Local sentiment will be the driver. Mid-caps and small-caps will rebound,” said Harendra Kumar, managing director, Elara Securities.

Asian shares traded lower as risk appetites soured after British lawmakers crushed Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal, forcing the parliament to decide within days whether to back a no-deal Brexit or seek a last-minute delay.

The broader NSE index was up 0.19 percent at 11,322.95 as of 0612 GMT and the benchmark BSE index was 0.36 percent higher at 37,669.53, heading for a third straight session of gains.

Shares of airlines which operate Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft fell after the government grounded these aircraft following a crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people.

Jet Airways Ltd fell 2.3 percent and SpiceJet Ltd dropped 3.5 percent, while IndiGo owner InterGlobe Aviation Ltd rose 3.8 percent.

Market heavyweights HDFC Bank Ltd and Infosys Ltd advanced, while energy stocks such as Indian Oil Corp and Oil and Natural Gas Corp declined.

Metal stocks fell with the Nifty Metal index down 1.8 percent. (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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