* BSE index gains 0.14 pct; NSE index 0.08 pct higher
* Underperformers recover some lost ground
* Metal stocks continue to fall
(Updates with consumer price inflation data)
By Indulal PM
MUMBAI, March 12 Indian shares edged higher on
Wednesday, to post their sixth gain in seven sessions as
drugmakers such as Sun Pharmaceutical and software services
exporters such as Tata Consultancy Services recovered from
recent steep losses.
Gains could accelerate after data late in the day showed
consumer price inflation slowed more than expected to a 25-month
low of 8.1 percent in February, helped by moderating food
The sharp ease in retail prices should cement expectations
the Reserve Bank of India would keep interest rates steady at
its policy review on April 1 after aggressively tightening
monetary policy from September to January.
"We have been seeing buying interest from overseas investors
and supply is still in the market," said Suresh Parmar, head,
institutional equities at KJMC Capital Markets.
"However, one should be careful in picking stocks," he
added. "There are enough buying opportunities and at the same
time we may see further selling pressure in metals and iron ore
The broader NSE index rose 0.08 percent, or 5
points, to end at 6,516.90, hovering near an all-time high of
6,562.85 hit on Tuesday.
The benchmark BSE index edged up 0.14 percent, or
29.80 points, to end at 21,856.22, not too far from a record
high of 22,023.98 hit on Monday.
Foreign investors bought Indian shares worth 14.71 billion
rupees ($241.5 million) on Tuesday, their 17th buying over the
previous 18 sessions for a total of over $1.8 billion.
Exchange data shows foreign investors were net sellers on
Monday, although traders say that the day was impacted as
investors tendered shares as part of GlaxoSmithKline's
open offer to increase its stake in the domestic unit to 75
percent from 64 billion rupees.
Among the top gainers on Wednesday were recent
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries gained 4.14 percent,
its biggest single day gain since Oct. 9, 2013, after slumping 7
percent over the previous four sessions.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories rose 0.33 percent.
Technology stocks, which went from top performers last year
to struggling in recent weeks as the rupee recovered,
were other strong gainers on Wednesday.
Tata Consultancy Services added 1.29 percent, but
it is still down 4.3 percent for the month, compared with a 3.8
percent gain in the NSE index so far in March.
Wipro closed 1.23 percent higher.
But investors also continued to book profits in other recent
Shares in Oil and Natural Gas Corp fell 1.9
percent on profit-taking after gaining 8.8 percent so far this
Metal stocks continued to witness selling pressure for the
third consecutive day with Tata steel losing 1.21
percent on continued concerns about China's growth prospects.
Hindalco Industries closed 2.26 percent down.
Shares of L&T Finance Holdings and Just Dial
gained after their inclusion into the futures and
option segment of the NSE.
For additional stocks on the move double click
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Aussie, rand under pressure from concern over China demand
* Brent falls below $108 on prospects of weaker oil demand
* China worries chill markets, copper slumps
* Foreign institutional investor flows
* For closing rates of Indian ADRs
ASIA-PACIFIC STOCK MARKETS:
Pan-Asia........ Japan....... S.Korea...
S.E. Asia....... Hong Kong... Taiwan....
Australia/NZ.... India....... China.....
Wall Street .... Gold ....... Currency..
Eurostocks..... Oil ........ JP bonds...
ADR Report ..... LME metals. US bonds..
Stocks News US.. Stocks News Europe
DIARIES & DATA:
Indian Data Watch Asia earnings diary
U.S. earnings diary European diary
Indian diary Wall Street Week Ahead
Eurostocks Week Ahead
For top Asian company news, double click on:
U.S. company news European company news
Forex news Global Economy news
Technology news Telecoms news
Media news Banking news
Politics/General Asia Macro data
(Editing by Anand Basu and Anupama Dwivedi)