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Indian shares tick up after five sessions of falls
December 21, 2016 / 7:07 AM / a year ago

Indian shares tick up after five sessions of falls

* 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 (Reuters) - 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 overnight.

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 Securities.

“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 clarity.

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 percent each.

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 Sahu)

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