September 27, 2019 / 4:59 AM / 17 days ago

Indian shares rangebound; finance minister assurance boosts FMCG stocks

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares moved in a tight range on Friday, as investors looked for further stimulus to revive the economy, while the finance minister assuring of a pick up in growth cheered fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector stocks.

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/Files

Meanwhile, shares in broader Asia hit a three-week low, following a whistleblower report released on Thursday against U.S. President Donald Trump. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.42%.

In India, the broader NSE Nifty was down 0.06% at 11,562.20 as of 0424 GMT, while the benchmark BSE Sensex was little changed at 38,991.68.

India’s economic growth, which fell to a six-year low, would pick up in the October-March period as consumer demand is expected to improve, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.

“Real sentiments revival will depend on the manner in which the stimulus is put to use by companies,” said Rajesh Cheruvu, chief investment officer at Validus Wealth.

However, Sitharaman’s comments lifted shares of FMCG companies staring at job losses due to a demand crunch, especially in India’s rural hinterland.

The NSE’s FMCG sub-index rose 0.5%, led by heavyweight ITC Ltd, which was up 2.08%.

Fiancial stocks were also among gainers for the day. The country’s biggest shadow bank HDFC Ltd was up about 0.8%.

Among the main losers, Lakshmi Vilas Bank’s shares fell nearly 5% after India’s economic offences wing filed a case of fraud against the lender’s directors on Thursday.

Piramal Enterprises shares were down 4%, after a newspaper reported Japanese tech giant SoftBank may shelve plans to invest in its parent Piramal Group.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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