May 2, 2018 / 6:35 AM / 24 days ago

Indian shares little changed; auto stocks shine

* NSE index down 0.09 pct, BSE index up 0.02 pct

* IT stocks fall after HCL Tech misses estimates

* Global investors await Fed statement

By Tanvi Mehta

May 2 (Reuters) - Indian shares were little changed on Wednesday as gains in auto stocks on the back of solid monthly sales offset losses in IT counters after HCL Technologies Ltd posted a lower-than-expected March quarter profit.

Sentiment across the globe was muted as investors await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision later in the global day for cues on the future pace of U.S. monetary tightening.

The Fed is seen set to hold interest rates steady but will likely encourage expectations that it will lift borrowing costs in June on the back of rising inflation and low unemployment.

“Global cues are weighing on the markets... It is now running into macro headwinds - crude, spike in the 10-year yield, valuations on market-end as a whole are high,” said Sunil Sharma, chief investment officer, Sanctum Wealth Management.

The broader NSE index was down 0.09 percent at 10,729.60 as of 0552 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.02 percent higher at 35,169.13.

Stock markets were closed on Tuesday for a public holiday.

Shares of Bajaj Auto Ltd gained as much as 3.1 percent after the company posted a 26 percent jump in total vehicle sales for April, while Tata Motors Ltd rose up to 3.3 percent after reporting an 86 percent surge in domestic sales of commercial and passenger vehicles last month.

Dabur India Ltd climbed 3.7 percent to a record after posting a 19 percent rise in its fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday.

Public sector banks fell on non-performing asset woes, Sharma said. The Nifty PSU bank index dropped 1.8 percent with Indian Bank shedding 2.3 percent.

However, private sector lenders inched higher with Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd accounting for most of the gains on both indexes. Kotak shares gained over 5 percent after the lender posted a 15 percent rise in March-quarter profit on Monday.

HCL Technologies fell as much as 5 percent to its lowest since Oct. 26 after its March-quarter profit came in below analysts’ estimates. (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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