September 8, 2017 / 6:42 AM / 6 months ago

Indian shares edge higher; metal stocks extend rally

* NSE index up 0.16 pct, BSE index 0.13 pct higher

* Biocon hits 1-month high

* Metal stocks rally for 6th straight session

By Vishal Sridhar

Sept 8 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged higher on Friday as metal shares continued to rally on the back of higher commodity prices, but indexes were set to snap a three-week winning streak amid continued caution about global risk factors such as North Korea.

The modest gains in India tracked Asian shares. The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.5 percent, supported by China’s trade data that reinforced views the world’s second-largest economy was expanding at a healthy pace.

However, analysts cautioned Indian markets were unlikely to gain much, with global risk factors such as continued tensions on the Korean peninsula weighing on sentiment.

“Markets are showing strength, considering it (Nifty) bounced back from its support of 9,685 in spite of geopolitical tensions,” said Anupam Singhi, chief operations officer, Marketsmith India, part of William O‘Neil India.

The broader NSE index was up 0.16 percent at 9,945.65 as of 0633 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.13 percent higher at 31,703.53.

The NSE’s Nifty index is down 0.30 percent for the week, while BSE index is down 0.64 percent.

The Nifty Metal index continued its rally for a sixth session, jumping as much as 1.5 percent and looking set to post a fourth straight weekly gain on rising metal prices and improved demand in China.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd, which was the biggest contributor to gains in the Nifty, rose as much as 4.5 percent. The engineering and construction company is up 3.15 percent this week.

Vedanta Ltd and Hindalco Industries Ltd were also among the top percentage gainers on the Nifty, rising 1.7 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd fell as much as 7.1 percent and was among the top percentage losers on the NSE. The German regulator concluded an audit at the drugmaker’s Vishakapatnam unit with zero critical and six major observations, the company said.

Meanwhile, Biocon Ltd rose as much as 5.5 percent, heading for a second consecutive session of gains after hitting a one-month high as an insulin facility in Malaysia got an EU compliance certificate on Thursday.

Engineering and construction services provider Punj Lloyd Ltd rose nearly 9 percent to its highest since May 11 after the company’s joint venture was declared provisional lowest bidder for a highway project in Myanmar. (Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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