October 24, 2018 / 6:01 AM / a month ago

Indian shares rise on firm rupee, oil price dip; financials lead

* NSE 0.26 pct higher, BSE rises 0.27 pct

* IT, pharma stocks curb gains

By Chris Thomas

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Wednesday, snapping four straight sessions of fall, with the trading sentiment supported by a firmer rupee as oil prices plunged.

The Indian rupee firmed to a three-week high in morning trade, helped by a sharp fall in global crude oil prices overnight.

However, the gains in Indian shares may be short-lived, said Sudhakar Pattabiraman, head of research operations, William O’Neil India.

“If markets have fallen for four days, people would obviously take the opportunity to take some positions, hoping things will be different, but this is not sustainable. Overall, we still don’t see a great reason for people to buy stocks or take positions at this point,” Pattabiraman added.

Sentiment in Indian markets has been sour in recent weeks after a string of defaults at a major non-banking financial company sparked concerns of a liquidity crunch.

The broader NSE index rose as much as 1.4 percent in early trade, before giving up some gains to trade 0.26 percent higher at 10,173.60 as of 0538 GMT. The benchmark BSE index was trading at 0.27 percent higher at 33,940.05.

Oil marketing companies cheered weak crude prices and were among the top gainers on the index. Shares of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd climbed as much as 5.5 percent, while those of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd rose 4.9 percent to a three-week high.

Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd’s stock was the biggest boost, up 2.8 percent, while that of ICICI Bank Ltd rose as much as 2.2 percent.

IT stocks weakened due to a stronger rupee, with the Nifty IT index falling as much as 1.3 percent to its lowest since June 25.

Shares of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd fell 1.8 percent, while those of Infosys Ltd slipped 1 percent. Wipro Ltd’s stock fell as much as 2.9 percent ahead of its quarterly results.

Pharmaceutical stocks slipped, dragging the Nifty Pharma index down 1.4 percent to a 10-week low. Shares of Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd fell as much as 3.4 percent. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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