Indian shares flat; Reliance in focus ahead of results

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.04% to 14,585.30 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.1% to 49,556.13 by 0506 GMT

  
The Bombay Stock Exchange building is seen from a facade in Mumbai, India, May 16, 2018.

The Bombay Stock Exchange building is seen from a facade in Mumbai, India, May 16, 2018.

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU  - Indian shares were mostly flat on Friday after major indexes hit record highs in the previous session and a global rally took a breather, while the focus turned to Reliance Industries' quarterly earnings later in the day.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.04% to 14,585.30 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.1% to 49,556.13 by 0506 GMT.

"Once you hit all-time highs there will be profit bookings. But, liquidity is pretty strong and is not going to stop all of a sudden. That is a huge support for the market," said Mayuresh Joshi, head of equity research at William O'Neil & Co in India.

The Nifty auto index was the top index gainer, rising 3.8%, with Bajaj Auto leading gains after strong quarterly results. The auto index was on track for its fourth straight week of gains, up over 5% this week.

Shares of Bajaj Auto rose 8%, to hit a record high, after an over 23% surge in Dec. quarter profits. 

"Auto has seen significant traction in the last few days. Sectors like auto correspond in terms of how the economy will shape up... There are expectations in terms of demand normalizing to pre-COVID levels and balance sheet strength with inherent demand coming back," Joshi said.

Reliance Industries was down 1% ahead of its December quarter earnings. The stock had gained more than 8% this week as of Thursday.

Shares of biopharmaceutical firm Biocon Ltd fell 9.5% after an 18% drop in quarterly profits, while those of tyre maker JK Tyre rose as much as 14.3% after posting near 20-fold profit. 

Asian shares eased from record highs, as investors took some profits after a recent rally that was driven by hopes of a massive U.S. economic stimulus plan by incoming President Joe Biden. 

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Shailesh Kuber) ((Sethuraman.NR@thomsonreuters.com; (+91 8061822737); Reuters Messaging: nallur.sethuraman.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

More From Equities