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Indian shares little changed; Idea Cellular, Bank of Baroda biggest drags
February 13, 2017 / 6:23 AM / 9 months ago

Indian shares little changed; Idea Cellular, Bank of Baroda biggest drags

* NSE index down 0.03 pct, BSE index 0.02 pct lower

* Upbeat sentiment following budget continues - analyst

By Tanvi Mehta

Feb 13 (Reuters) - Indian shares were little changed on Monday with losses in financials such as Bank of Baroda Ltd and telecom company Idea Cellular Ltd outweighing gains in IT stocks.

However, investor sentiment was upbeat as Asian shares ticked up on renewed optimism over U.S. President Trump’s tax reform plans and his change of tack to agree to honour the “one China” policy.

Trump plans to announce the most ambitious tax reform plan since the Reagan era in the next few weeks, the White House said last week, sending stock prices and the dollar higher on hopes for a cut in corporate tax rates.

“Markets have been fairly strong after the budget and mid-caps have been doing well... Global mood is also helping boost sentiment (in India),” said Jayant Manglik, president, retail distribution, Religare Securities.

The broader NSE index was down 0.03 percent at 8,791.60 as of 0531 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.02 percent down at 28,319.

As of Friday’s close, the NSE index had gained 2.7 percent since the budget on Feb. 1, rising in seven sessions out of the eight so far this month.

IT stocks were the biggest contributors to the gains with the Nifty IT index, which fell about 7 percent in 2016, trading 0.41 percent higher. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd was up 0.8 percent, while Infosys Ltd was 0.7 percent higher.

Banks were the biggest drags with the Nifty PSU bank index shedding as much as 2.7 percent. Bank of Baroda Ltd slumped as much as 8.9 percent in its biggest percentage loss since Nov. 21, 2016 after reporting a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday.

Among other losers, Idea Cellular fell as much as 5.6 percent in its biggest percentage decline in a month, after the company posted its first quarterly loss as a new rival forced carriers to cut prices in the highly competitive domestic market. (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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