June 24, 2020 / 6:38 AM / 2 months ago

Indian shares rise as upbeat earnings lift sentiment

BENGALURU, June 24 (Reuters) - Indian stocks rose in a choppy trading session on Wednesday as investors parsed corporate earnings, evaluated an anti-dumping duty and weighed the benefits of reopening the economy even as coronavirus cases rise.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.2% to 10,490, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was also up 0.2% at 35,508.33 at 0541 GMT.

The Nifty metals index gained 1.4% after India imposed an anti-dumping duty on some steel imports from China, Vietnam and South Korea.

“We have some cautious views in the near-term as the rally has been on the back of opening up of economy, while actual improvements in ground level is yet to happen,” said Vinod Nair, head of research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd.

“Even though foreign investors have come back into markets, an extension of this rally is looking difficult and we are asking clients to book profits.”

The Nifty has risen more than 9% so far this month, partly helped by foreign institutional investors, who have been pouring surplus money into Indian equities, which is currently seen as an attractive bet as markets are down about 13% this year.

On Wednesday, the Nifty public sector bank index rose 3.07%, led by gains in Bank of Baroda Ltd. The state-run lender surged 8.5% after it reported March quarter profit of 5.07 billion rupees against a loss of 9.91 billion rupees year ago.

Strong quarterly margins sent shares of Asian Paints Ltd up 6.2%, making it the top gainer on the Nifty 50 index.

Meanwhile, cases of coronavirus infections rose to 456,183 cases in the country, but investor sentiment got a boost from de-escalation discussions between Indian and Chinese military commanders.

Broader Asian shares cleared a four-month high on Wednesday as investors remained stubbornly upbeat on the outlook for a re-opening of the global economy. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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