June 28, 2019 / 5:32 AM / 4 months ago

Indian shares little changed; Trump, Modi meeting details awaited

* NSE index up 0.03%, BSE index unchanged

* Nifty Pharma up 1.2%

By Derek Francis

June 28 (Reuters) - Indian shares were little changed on Friday in the absence of market-moving news as risk-averse investors waited for details of a key trade meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The meeting assumes significance as Trump and Modi talk trade, amid a tussle on tariffs and data storage between the nations.

India slapped higher duties on 28 U.S. products after the United States withdrew tariff-free entry for certain Indian goods. Washington is also upset with New Delhi’s plans to restrict cross-border data flows and impose stricter rules on e-commerce that hurt U.S. firms operating in India.

The broader NSE index was up 0.03% at 11,845.45 as of 0425 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was unchanged at 39,590.50.

“No one wants to take a chance, because anything can happen in the next few days (at the G20 meet),” said Rusmik Oza, Head of Fundamental Research at Kotak Securities.

“There is a bit of risk aversion right now in the system.”

Pharma majors Sun Pharma and Dr. Reddy’s Labs were up 1.5% and 1.4%, respectively, and topped the list among bluechip stocks. The Nifty pharma index rose 1.2% and was the top boost to the markets for the day.

Among other gainers, Britannia Industries rose 1.22% and Adani Ports and SEZ was up 1.3%

Bharti stocks fell on Friday and were among the top of the losers list on the NSE index, after the Mint daily reported here on Thursday that the London IPO of its Africa unit — Airtel Africa PLC — did not generate the gains that was hoped for.

Bharti Airtel fell as much as 1.7%, while telecom tower company Bharti Infratel fell 2%.

Meanwhile, Yes Bank and Indiabulls Housing Finance continued to fall, shedding 1.94% and 1.6%, respectively.

Meanwhile, broader Asia stumbled amid doubts that Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping could lead to easing trade tensions. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3%. (Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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