January 17, 2019 / 5:43 AM / 4 months ago

Indian shares edge higher; financials, energy drive gains

* NSE index up 0.19 pct, BSE index rises 0.2 pct

* Reliance boosts NSE, edges up 0.9 pct ahead of results

* Jet Airways tumbles

By Chandini Monnappa

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Indian shares crept higher on Thursday, with financial and energy stocks accounting for more than half the gains in the index for a second session, as investors turned their attention to corporate earnings.

The broader NSE index advanced 0.19 percent to 10,910.95 as of 0510 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index gained 0.2 percent to 36,398.46.

“Focus is naturally on stocks that are due to post results. We continue to remain in a broad range,” said Arun Kejriwal, founder of advisory firm Kejriwal Research.

“However, the mood is still bearish. At every rally people are shorting the market.”

Meanwhile, broader Asian markets were little changed as worries over China’s economic outlook were pacified by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s overnight confidence vote win over Brexit.

In India, oil-to-telecoms giant Reliance Industries Ltd drove gains in the energy sector, inching up 0.9 percent. The Indian conglomerate is due to report quarterly results later in the day.

Gains in the financial sector were driven by Housing Development and Finance Corporation Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd, both rising as much as 1.09 percent and 0.89 percent, respectively.

Jet Airways Ltd sank 4.93 percent after State Bank of India said lenders of the airline were considering a restructuring plan for the debt-laden carrier.

Last evening, the beleaguered airline said it was exploring options with shareholders about a resolution plan which could include an equity infusion by stakeholders and a change in the airline’s board. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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