Indian stocks subdued as investors weigh on oil prices and global events

Clouds are seen above the Bombay Stock Exchange (ESB) building in Mumbai, India May 25, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

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BENGALURU, March 23 (Reuters) – Indian stocks were little changed on Wednesday as cautious investors kept an eye on crude prices and geopolitical events in the absence of major domestic triggers.

As of 05:04 GMT, the blue chip NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) was up 0.11% at 17,334.45, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) gained 0 .10% at 58,046.43.

After falling nearly 1% on Monday and extending those losses into the first half of Tuesday – due to rising oil prices – both indices staged a midday reversal to end up more than 1%. % as investors bought in lower.

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While the Nifty and Sensex took advantage of the bullish momentum in early trade on Wednesday, markets have now given up most of the gains.

“Markets won’t be as bullish today and there could be some sort of consolidation,” said Devarsh Vakil, deputy director of retail research at HDFC Securities.

“As such, we’ve come a lot higher from the (recent) lows. So it’s best to digest those gains,” he added.

Earlier this month, the indices hit their lowest levels since late July, but have since risen by around 11% each.

In Mumbai, gains in pharmaceuticals and metals stocks offset losses in automakers.

The Nifty Pharma Index (.NIPHARM) rose 1.27%, with pharmaceutical major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (REDY.NS) rising 3% and surpassing Nifty’s 50% gain.

The Nifty Metal Index (.NIFTYMET) rose 0.49%, with aluminum and copper producer Hindalco Industries (HALC.NS) adding 2.3%. Global commodity prices remained high due to possible supply cuts due to the conflict in Ukraine.

The Nifty Auto Index (.NIFTYAUTO) fell 0.56% and was on course for its second losing session in three.

Meanwhile, broader Asian markets hit their highest levels since March 4 as investors shifted cash to stocks from bonds in view of the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive approach to tackling inflation. .

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Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; edited by Uttaresh.V

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Steve R. Hansen