November 22, 2018 / 6:13 AM / a month ago

Indian shares edge higher as IT stocks bounce back

* Both NSE index and BSE index up 0.2 pct each

* Nifty IT index up 1.7 pct

* Tech Mahindra among top gainers on NSE index

By Krishna V Kurup

Nov 22 (Reuters) - Indian markets rose marginally on Thursday in thin trading, helped by a recovery from previous session in IT stocks such as Tech Mahindra Ltd and HCL Technologies Ltd, while some stability in broader Asia also boosted the sentiment.

Asian shares stepped ahead cautiously on Thursday, as rising U.S. interest rates and escalating trade tensions kept financial markets on edge amid signs of slackening global growth.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last up 0.12 percent.

The broader NSE index was up 0.16 percent at 10,616.65 as of 0558 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index rose 0.2 percent to 35,271.42.

“Despite the global worries around growth and tech stocks, the Indian markets have held up. So, the divergence is actually a very good sign for us. We are also seeing economic activity in rural, second and third tier cities picking up,” said Sunil Sharma, chief investment officer with Sanctum Wealth Management.

“So, we are reasonably bullish about the prospects as earnings have also come through with pretty decent bottom line earnings performance.”

However, the NSE index was on track to close the week 0.6 percent lower, while the BSE index was on track to clock a fall of 0.51 percent.

Indian stock markets will remain closed on Friday for a public holiday.

Technology stocks bounced back after falling in the previous session, with the Nifty IT index rising as much as 1.7 percent. Tech Mahindra was among the top percentage gainers on the NSE index, with the stock rising as much as 2.8 percent.

Shares of HCL Technologies rose as much as 1.7 percent, while those of index heavyweight Infosys Ltd rose up to 1.5 percent.

Oil refiners lost some ground with Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd’s stock falling 2.6 percent. Stock was the top percentage loser on the NSE index.

Shares of Refiners Indian Oil Corp Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd dropped 2.2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Oil prices dipped further on Thursday after U.S. crude inventories increased to their highest level since December 2017 amid concerns of an emerging global glut, although an expected supply cut by producer cartel OPEC prevented further drops.

Meanwhile, Indian Hotels Co Ltd’s stock rose as much as 6 percent to its highest since June 11, after brokerage Motilal Oswal initiated coverage on the stock with a “buy” rating, saying it is an attractive investment candidate in the upcoming industry upcycle.

Shares of Vakrangee Ltd locked in the upper circuit, rising as much as 5 percent after Economic Offences Wing gave the technology company a clean chit for complaint against the firm and its Chief Executive Officer Dinesh Nandwana. (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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