January 2, 2018 / 6:20 AM / 9 months ago

Indian shares little changed; oil retailers slip

* NSE index up 0.01 pct, BSE index 0.02 pct lower

* Public sector banks fall

By Tanvi Mehta

Jan 2 (Reuters) - Indian shares were flat on Tuesday as caution prevailed ahead of corporate results due later this month, while oil retailers such as Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd fell after crude prices strengthened.

Indian shares started off the new year on a weak footing, after ending 2017 with their biggest annual gains in three, as investors braced for corporate results including from Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd next week.

The government is gearing up to unveil its 2018/19 budget in early February, which will be followed by the Reserve Bank of India’s policy meeting.

“Markets could be subdued because of upcoming domestic events,” said Gaurang Shah, head investment strategist, Geojit Financial Services.

The broader NSE index was up 0.01 percent at 10,436.50 as of 0552 GMT.

The benchmark BSE index was 0.02 percent lower at 33,807.53.

Nifty PSU bank index dropped as much as 2 percent to its lowest since Dec. 18, with Bank of Baroda Ltd and Union Bank of India Ltd losing 1.5 percent each.

Oil marketing companies traded lower after crude prices gained. Brent crude futures hit $67.27 a barrel, their highest since May 2015, amid large anti-government rallies in Iran and ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia. Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd was down 2.7 percent while Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd lost 1.9 percent. (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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