May 29, 2018 / 6:56 AM / 9 months ago

Indian shares inch higher; L&T top boost

* NSE index up 0.2 pct, BSE index 0.13 pct higher

* Energy shares extend gain, financials top drag

* Vedanta plunges to 11-month low

By Krishna V Kurup

May 29 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose slightly on Tuesday, helped by index heavyweight Larsen & Toubro Ltd on strong quarterly results and oil firms on declining crude prices.

However, gains were limited as financials declined. The NSE Bank Index slipped as much as 0.7 percent after three straight sessions of gain, with ICICI Bank shedding nearly 2 percent.

“It’s the continuation of Monday’s rally,” said Hitesh Agarwal, EVP and head – retail research, Religare Broking.

“Correction in oil prices in the past couple of days have been a sentiment booster. However, it still remains a concern, hovering around $75 a barrel, as fuel prices are already very high,” he said, adding that corporate earnings had been pretty good so far.

The broader NSE index was up 0.2 percent at 10,709.85 as of 0606 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index rose 0.13 percent to 35,212.50.

Shares of Larsen & Toubro rose as much as 3.5 percent to their highest since Feb. 2, after the industrial group posted a 4.7 percent rise in quarterly net profit on Monday.

Shares of oil and gas companies extended their rally, with the Nifty Energy index rising for a third session in a row.

Oil prices remained under pressure from expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russia would pump more crude to ease a potential shortfall in supply.

Indian Oil Corp gained 1.9 percent, while Oil India Ltd climbed 3.5 percent.

Among losers, Vedanta Ltd plunged to its lowest since June 2017 after the southern state of Tamil Nadu ordered the permanent closure of a copper smelter run by its London-listed parent Vedanta Resources.

Aurobindo Pharma Ltd posted its sharpest intraday drop since November 2017, after the drugmaker reported March-quarter results below market expectations. (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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