Indian shares rise; PSU stocks climb on capital infusion

BENGALURU, April 1 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged higher on Thursday, led by metals and information technology stocks, while the government’s capital infusion in some state-run lenders boosted public sector banks.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.2% at 14,713, as of 0537 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.3% to 49,665.

“Today’s rise has been largely due to U.S. announcing infrastructure plan. That is likely to kick-start a commodity cycle and also make people hope for strong economic growth,” Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services in Kochi said.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday outlined a broad plan to re-make the world’s biggest economy including spending on roads, railways, broadband, clean energy and semiconductor manufacture.

Back home, Indian stocks have been volatile after falling 1.6% last week, while they managed to notch gains of nearly 1.7% so far this week.

There is inability to make strong bets on either side, James said, adding that elevated U.S. Treasury yields continue to be a “thorny issue.”

“Every rise has seen some kind of resistance,” he added.

The Indian government on Wednesday infused a total of 145 billion rupees ($1.98 billion) in four state-run banks including Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of India, Central Bank of India and UCO Bank.

Shares of Indian Overseas Bank and Central Bank jumped 5% while Bank of India and UCO Bank gained more than 2% each.

The Nifty metals index rose 2.4%, while the auto index and IT index gained 0.7% each.

Auto companies are expected to post their monthly sales data for March later in the day.

India has rolled back its decision to lower interest rates on the small savings scheme, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.

Indian markets are closed for a holiday on Friday.

($1 = 73.4150 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber