Indian shares flat as gains in auto stocks offset tech losses

BENGALURU, July 1 (Reuters) - Indian shares kicked off July largely unchanged on Thursday, as gains in automaker stocks were offset by losses in heavyweight information technology companies.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.08% to 15,734.45 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.01% to 52,486.29 by 0408 GMT.

Both indexes gained about 1% in June, helped by declining COVID-19 cases, easing of pandemic-induced restrictions and a surge in vaccinations.

Indian drugmaker Zydus Cadila said on Thursday it has applied to the country’s drug regulator for emergency use approval of its COVID-19 vaccine, which showed a 66.6% efficacy against positive cases in an interim analysis.

Automaker stocks were in focus, as companies released their sales numbers for June.

The Nifty Auto index rose 1.3%. Bajaj Auto jumped 2.1% after posting higher June sales versus a year ago. Mahindra and Mahindra was up 1.9% ahead of its sales data. Both stocks were the top two percentage gainers on the Nifty 50.

The Nifty IT index fell 0.56% after posting gains on Wednesday.

Telecom operator Vodafone Idea fell 6.5% after the company’s March-quarter loss widened and revenue fell compared with the previous quarter.

Broader Asian markets were subdued, weighed by worries about new coronavirus infections and fresh lockdowns. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)