January 24, 2018 / 6:41 AM / a year ago

Indian shares pare gains after new highs; IT stocks up

* NSE index up 0.01 pct, BSE index 0.06 pct higher

* Nifty IT index hits record high

* Broader gains capped by profit-booking

By Jessica Kuruthukulangara

Jan 24 (Reuters) - Indian shares were flat on Wednesday, paring gains after scaling new peaks for a sixth consecutive session, with IT stocks boosting the indexes while broader gains were capped by profit-booking.

The Nifty IT index rose as much as 3.9 percent to hit a record high and was set to post its seventh session of gains. Infosys contributed the most to the rise, climbing as much as 3.7 percent.

“Valuations of growth-oriented sectors are high, so broader focus is on defensive sectors like IT and pharma. After seeing some stabilisation in quarterly numbers, investors are shifting towards IT,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

The Nifty Pharma index rose for a fourth consecutive session, climbing as much as 0.5 percent.

The broader NSE index was up 0.01 percent at 11,085.20 as of 0626 GMT, after rising as much as 0.24 percent to hit an all-time high of 11,110.10 points.

The benchmark BSE index was 0.06 percent higher at 36,161.56, having earlier climbed 0.35 percent to hit a peak of 36,268.19 points.

Meanwhile, investors booked profits in market heavyweights such as Reliance Industries Ltd, which fell as much as 2.1 percent after gaining in the last three sessions. ICICI Bank Ltd fell 2.6 percent, after rising in seven of the last eight sessions.

Since the last ten trading days were very positive, some kind of profit-booking can be seen just before the budget, Nair added.

Shares of Indian telecom services providers also fell after Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd cut tariffs to counter bigger rival Bharti Airtel Ltd’s revision in data plans.

Bharti Airtel led losses on the NSE index, falling as much as 6.2 percent. Idea Cellular Ltd fell as much as 5.7 percent while Reliance Communications Ltd slipped over 2 percent.

Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd rose 2.2 percent while PNB Housing Finance Ltd climbed 2.9 percent after posting strong third-quarter results.

United Spirits Ltd slid as much as 6.7 percent after the liquor company on Tuesday posted smaller-than-expected third-quarter profit. (Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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