By Sethuraman N R
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares edged higher on Wednesday as losses in energy and metal stocks were outweighed by gains in HDFC Bank, after a positive commentary on a recovery in retail loans and growth outlook.
The broader NSE Nifty 50 index ended up 0.2% at 11,247.55 and the S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.3% to 38,067.93.
Shares of HDFC Bank rose as much as 2.3% after the top private lender’s managing director Aditya Puri said the bank was “back to pre-COVID levels.”
The management also added that the bank was seeing a significant recovery in all forms of retail loans and was confident about a significant pick-up in credit growth in the upcoming festival season.
HDFC was the top boost to the Nifty 50 index and its gains lifted the Nifty bank index to end nearly flat from a 1.3% fall.
The Nifty metals index fell 2.1%, while the energy sub-index dropped 1.1%, weighed down by a 9% slide in Bharat Petroleum Corp after Reuters reported that Rosneft and Saudi Aramco were unlikely to bid for the Indian refiner’s stake.
The energy and metals indexes were also weighed down by Royal Dutch Shell’s announcement that it plans to cut up to 9,000 jobs, or over 10% of its workforce, as part of a major overhaul to shift the oil and gas giant to low-carbon energy.
Meanwhile, Reliance Industries Ltd rose as much as nearly 1% early in the session, after the company said U.S. fund General Atlantic plans to invest 36.75 billion rupees ($498.31 million) for a 0.84% stake in its retail arm.
Investors are awaiting clues about the Indian economy from August infrastructure output data.
India’s current account surplus rose to a record $19.8 billion in April-June as its trade deficit narrowed sharply, the Reserve Bank of India said on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)