* NSE index up 0.14 pct, BSE index 0.20 pct higher
* Minutes of MPC meeting expected later in day
* SBI, ICICI Bank rise; ITC among top losers
By Arnab Paul
Dec 21 Indian shares edged higher on Wednesday
after five consecutive sessions of declines, in line with Asian
shares following a record-breaking session on Wall Street
The NASDAQ Composite rose to an all-time high while
the Dow Jones industrial average flirted with the 20,000
mark, in a rally fuelled by optimism about U.S. President-elect
Donald Trump's policies.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was up 0.31 percent on Wednesday.
Investors now keep an eye out for the minutes of the Reserve
Bank of India's monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting earlier
this month, expected later in the day, for clues about the
economy and the central bank's stance after demonetisation.
The central bank unexpectedly kept its key policy rate
unchanged on Dec. 7, despite calls for action in the face of an
intense cash shortage that threatens to slam the brakes on the
world's fastest-growing large economy.
"The feel-good factor has been missing from the market
post-demonetisation," said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum
"We will have to wait and watch if the government announces
anything substantial early next year to lift investor sentiment.
We can then expect a pre-budget rally."
The broader NSE index was up 0.14 percent at
8,094.10 in thin trade as of 0655 GMT, while the benchmark BSE
index rose 0.20 percent to 26,359.52.
Analysts are of the view that markets will trade in a narrow
range until the effects of demonetisation pan out with better
Financial stocks bounced back from the previous session's
losses and were the major contributors to the gains. ICICI Bank
and State Bank of India rose up to 1.4
However, consumer stocks were among the biggest losers with
ITC Ltd, the country's largest cigarette maker,
declining as much as 1 percent.
(Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu