Indian shares flat as consumer goods losses offset gains in banks

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Indian shares flat as consumer goods losses offset gains in banks
Credit: © Reuters.

By Soumyajit Saha

BENGALURU, April 23 (Reuters) - Indian shares were little changed on Friday as gains in public bank stocks were pared by losses among consumer goods companies, while the country reported another record increase in its daily COVID-19 cases.

The NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI rose 0.01% to 14,407.7 by 0512 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN dipped 0.03% to 47,061.2.

Total cases of the novel coronavirus in India rose by another record of 332,730, while a record 2,263 people had died in the last 24 hours, as hospitals struggled to arrange oxygen supplies and intensive care beds for patients.

"As the rise in cases spreads from major cities to Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns, near-lockdown seems to be the only solution... there is uncertainty in the market surrounding the impact of the larger second wave on future earnings," said S Krishnakumar, an independent market analyst covering Indian equities.

Meanwhile, credit rating agency Fitch forecast a negative outlook for India, citing deterioration in the country's "public finance metrics", and said surging infections may delay a recovery in its GDP. goods stocks .NIFTYFMCG fell 0.5%, with heavyweight Hindustan Unilever HLL.NS leading the losses on the benchmark index.

IT stocks .NIFTYIT slid 0.2%, with Infosys Ltd INFY.NS losing 0.9%.

State-owned banks .NIFTYPSU , however, rose more than 1% to lead the gains among sectors, while private banks .NIFPVTBNK were up 0.3%.

The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday relaxed restrictions surrounding the payment of dividends by banks, allowing commercial banks to pay dividends of up to 50% from profits.

Metal stocks .NIFTYMET added more than 1%, with Tata Steel TISC.NS rising 1.1%

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