Indian shares remain muted ahead of Fed decision, inflation data

By Kashish Tandon and Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares closed flat on Tuesday, coming off a sharp rise last week, as investors moved on from election related news to focus on upcoming inflation data, as well as the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision later in the week.

The NSE Nifty 50 index settled 0.02% higher at 23,264.85, while the S&P BSE Sensex shed 0.04% to 76,456.59.

Seven of the 13 major sectors logged gains. Oil and gas added 1.33%, top sectoral gainer by percentage.

After rising about 3.4% last week, the Nifty 50 has dropped about 0.1% this week so far, trading in a narrow 200-point range over the last two sessions.

Markets are expected to see incremental moves in the near term, said Raghvendra Nath, MD, Ladderup Wealth Management, citing key triggers such as election results, corporate earnings are over.

Indian refiner ONGC climbed 5.56%, topping the list of Nifty 50 gainers, after Jefferies reiterated a “buy” rating on the stock.

“Policy continuity on pricing reforms should keep ONGC’s profitability elevated compared to past averages,” said Jefferies, adding that the recent correction in share prices provided buying opportunity in the stock.

ONGC led the gains in oil & gas and energy indexes, which rose 1.33% and 0.27%, respectively.

City gas distributor GAIL gained 2.25%, after reports said petroleum minister hinted at a likely inclusion of natural gas under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Meanwhile, U.S. interest rate-sensitive IT stocks were little-changed ahead of the U.S. consumer price index data for May and the Fed’s policy decision on Wednesday.

The Fed is expected to hold rates steady and the focus will be on whether policymakers tweak their projections for rate cuts this year.

Airlines operator IndiGo’s shares dropped 4.32% as its biggest shareholder was set to sell a 2% stake worth $394 million, per a term sheet seen by Reuters.

(Reporting by Kashish Tandon and Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Mrigank Dhaniwala and Nivedita Bhattacharjee)


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