May 14, 2018 / 6:35 AM / 3 months ago

CORRECTED-Indian shares unchanged; CPI data, state poll results eyed

(Corrects day of the week in third paragraph to Tuesday, from Wednesday)

* NSE, BSE indexes flat

* Pharma stocks recover after 6 sessions of losses

* Dena Bank hits over 14-1/2-yr low

By Arnab Paul

May 14 (Reuters) - Indian shares were unchanged on Monday ahead of the consumer price inflation data (CPI) for April later in the day, with investors are waiting for the outcome of elections in the key southern state of Karnataka.

Exit polls on Saturday suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could emerge as the leading party in the state, potentially boosting its chances in the general elections early next year.

Counting of votes will begin on Tuesday with the outcome expected later in the day.

“If the BJP wins in Karnataka, expect the NSE index to at least equal its record high of 11,171.55,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

India’s retail inflation for April is seen climbing on higher oil prices, according to a Reuters poll.

The median forecast in the poll of nearly 30 economists was for April’s inflation rate to rise to 4.42 percent from March’s 4.28 percent.

The market has already factored in the inflation data but it will be interesting to observe Reserve Bank Of India’s (RBI) stance, Nair said.

RBI held interest rates steady last month while maintaining a “neutral” stance. However, the minutes of the monetary policy meeting hinted a shift to a more hawkish stance.

The broader NSE index was up 0.07 percent at 10,813.7 as of 0602 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.07 percent higher at 35,561.96.

Sun TV Network Ltd rose as much as 11.7 percent after posting a 23 percent jump in quarterly profit.

Pharmaceutical stocks saw some recovery after the index shed 5.8 percent in the last six sessions. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, the top gainer in the index, was up 2.5 percent.

Among the decliners, Allahabad Bank and UCO Bank fell between 3.7 percent and 5 percent while Dena Bank slumped as much as 12.7 percent to its lowest in over 14-1/2 years on weak quarterly results. (Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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