Indian shares flat as financials counter gains in IT stocks

BENGALURU, May 27 (Reuters) - Indian shares were flat on Thursday as losses in heavyweight financials offset gains in information technology stocks, even as daily COVID-19 cases continued to fall.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.10% at 15,315.55 by 0453 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was 0.06% higher at 51,052.61.

Both the indexes have gained between 0.83% and 0.94% this week, as of Wednesday’s close.

“Markets are now eyeing announcements on unlocking by the states, which is fuelling the recovery. Besides, stability in the global markets after the Fed assurance is also helping the index to sustain at higher levels,” said Ajit Mishra, vice president of research at Religare Broking.

Global equities have received a boost after U.S. Federal Reserve officials earlier this week reaffirmed a dovish monetary policy stance, reassuring investors worried about the prospect of rising inflation.

In India, 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 0.2% and 0.8%, 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.

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)