Indian shares edge up along with Asian peers after Yellen boost

BENGALURU, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged higher on Wednesday, led by gains in information technology stocks and on positive global cues after U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen advocated for a huge fiscal relief package in the United States.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.4% to 14,574 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.3% at 49,544.75 by 0450 GMT. The Nifty and Sensex rose 1.7% on Tuesday.

At her confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Yellen urged U.S. lawmakers to “act big” on the next coronavirus relief package.

“These are the indicators investors are watching for... This is a classic bull run, which will continue until the central bankers take away the accommodative stance, which will not happen in the near future,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president of research at SMC Global Securities in New Delhi.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who will be sworn into office on Wednesday, last week laid out a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal to boost the economy.

The Nifty IT index was the top gainer, rising 2.5%. Infosys Ltd and Tata Consultancy Ltd rose 2.2% and 1.6%, respectively and were the top boosts to the index.

The index has gained about 55% in 2020 and is so far up 10%.

“The IT companies have given phenomenal numbers and guidance was good. (Still) there was some profit booking. The underlying factors of Indian IT companies are pretty much strong. Serious investors will not unload positions in these stocks,” Jain said.

Shares of Nifty 50 components Bajaj Finance were flat, while Bajaj Finserv rose 0.9% ahead of their Dec. quarter earnings later in the day.

Asian shares climbed to a record high on Wednesday over Yellen’s backing for more stimulus to help the world’s largest economy ride out a pandemic-driven slump. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)