Indian shares open flat as auto stocks offset gains in state-run banks

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares opened flat on Thursday as auto stocks negated gains in public sector banks, with lingering concerns about global economic recovery also weighing on market sentiment.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.04% to 17,703.9 by 0350 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was 0.05% lower at 59,384.8.

Indian equities were set to mark their fifth straight monthly gain as accommodative monetary policy and easing COVID-19 restrictions lifted investor sentiment.

Public sector banks advanced 0.6%, driven by a 16% jump in Indian Overseas Bank after the country’s central bank took it out of the prompt corrective action framework over an improvement in its financial profile.

Auto stocks declined 0.3%, with Hero Motocorp falling 0.9% to be the biggest loser on the Nifty 50 index.

Shares in broader Asia were steady following multiple sessions of losses even as risks from China’s worsening power crunch and a possible default by China Evergrande loomed. [MKTS/GLOB]

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