December 29, 2016 / 6:28 AM / a year ago

Indian shares little changed in thin trade ahead of F&O expiry

* NSE index up 0.1 pct, BSE index 0.03 pct higher

* F&O expiry likely to impact markets - analyst

* Financial, IT stocks boost markets

By Tanvi Mehta

Dec 29 (Reuters) - Indian shares were little changed on Thursday in typical year-end thin trade, tracking subdued Asian peers while caution also set in ahead of the expiry of futures and options contracts later in the day.

Asian shares struggled after a lacklustre performance on Wall Street as investors looked to U.S. economic data later in the day for potential catalysts.

Some volatility is also expected ahead of the expiry of monthly futures and options (F&O) contracts at the end of the session.

“F&O expiry is likely to impact markets today... Volumes are pretty low across the world and generally that’s the trend at this time of the year,” said Dipen Shah, senior vice president, public client group research, Kotak Securities.

The broader NSE index was up 0.1 percent at 8,042.55 as of 0606 GMT, boosted by financial and IT stocks.

The benchmark BSE index was 0.03 percent higher at 26,216.81.

Investors remained attracted to recently hit shares, with both indexes headed for their first weekly gain in three.

Worries about capital outflows from emerging markets to the United States and India’s move to ban higher-value currency notes have hit sentiment since November.

Foreign investors offloaded net $100.58 million of shares on Dec. 27, having sold $975.80 million worth of local shares this month.

The Nifty IT index, which has fallen 9 percent so far this year, was 0.75 percent higher with Tata Elxsi and MindTree as the top percentage gainers.

But the Nifty FMCG index, which gained 3.3 percent in the previous two sessions, fell 0.33 percent on Thursday. (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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