Indian shares flat as financials counter gains in IT stocks

BENGALURU, May 27 (Reuters) - Indian shares were largely unchanged early on Thursday, as losses in heavyweight financials offset gains in information technology stocks.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.09% at 15,283.85 by 0356 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was 0.16% lower at 50,928.31.

Shares of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd extended gains to a third straight session, adding nearly 1% each and cushioning losses on the Nifty.

Lenders HDFC Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd were the top drags to the Nifty 50 index, losing 0.54% and 0.46%, respectively. HDFC Bank was on track for a third straight session of loss.

Investors’ sentiment has improved in the recent days due to a steady decline in daily COVID-19 cases in India. Earlier this week, the country reported its lowest daily rise of cases in more than a month.

On Thursday, India’s tally of COVID-19 cases rose by 211,298 over the last 24 hours, while deaths rose by 3,847.

Among other shares, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd , among the top boosts to the Nifty 50, rose as much as 3.5% after it reported March-quarter profit of 119.4 billion rupees, compared with loss of 13.61 billion rupees a year ago.

Nifty components Eicher Motors Ltd and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd are set to report their March-quarter earnings later in the day.

In the broader Asian market, shares retreated from two-week highs and China started on the backfoot, on fears central banks were closer to considering winding back their emergency stimulus while the dollar held at a one-week top.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V