Sensex edges up as banks recover; Reliance, Bharti Airtel dent gains

Sensex edges up as banks recover; Reliance, Bharti Airtel dent gains
A broker laughs while speaking to a colleague, as they trade on their computer terminals at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files


November 8 (REUTERS) – Indian shares rose slightly on Wednesday, as banks recovered from recent losses, but gains were capped as Reliance Industries fell on oil price worries and as Bharti Airtel slumped after a key investor sought to exit.


Crude oil prices slipped on Wednesday, but hovered near two-and-a-half year highs hit earlier this week, potentially stalling a record-setting share rally on concerns India’s central bank would hold off on cutting interest rates.


“The biggest area of concern right now is crude oil (prices). It has the potential to be a headwind for the market if it continues to rise,” said Sunil Sharma, Chief Investment Officer at Sanctum Wealth Management.


“Other than that, corporate results have been a positive story so far. At least two-thirds of companies have exceeded expectations and that’s a very healthy performance compared to at least last six quarters,” Sharma added.


The broader NSE Nifty inched up 0.15 percent to 10,365.25 as of 0623 GMT, while the benchmark BSE Sensex rose 0.2 percent to 33,449.90.


Bank stocks bounced back, with the Nifty Bank index up 0.3 percent after falling 1.4 percent over the previous two sessions.


Axis Bank Ltd rose 3 percent, while IndusInd Bank Ltd was 1.6 percent higher.


Refiners declined as oil prices remained well supported on OPEC-led supply cuts, with Reliance Industries Ltd dropping 1.3 percent and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd falling 1.6 percent.


The Nifty Energy index lost as much as 1.3 percent.


Bharti Airtel Ltd slumped 4.4 percent, the top percentage loser on both the indexes, after an affiliate of Qatar Foundation planned to sell a 5 percent stake in the telecom operator.