November 1, 2018 / 6:07 AM / 10 months ago

Indian shares start Nov on a mellow note; firm rupee hits IT

* NSE, BSE indexes trade range-bound

* Rupee firms after 2 days of falls

By Chris Thomas

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Indian shares were largely flat on Thursday in lacklustre trade, but a firmer rupee weighed down on IT stocks.

The broader NSE index was down 0.18 percent at 10,367.9 as of 0540 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.12 percent lower at 34,399.84.

Indian markets faced a tumultuous October, weighed down by a range of issues, including liquidity concerns and a public spat between the country’s government and the central bank. The NSE index on Wednesday registered its worst monthly fall since February 2016.

“Now, in the absence of triggers, the market will be fundamentally directionless for a short period,” said Jayant Manglik, president-retail distribution at Religare Broking.

However, a busy earnings season continued to influence stocks, with industrial conglomerate Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) jumping 6.7 percent to a near two-month high after reporting a solid quarterly profit.

L&T was the top boost on the NSE index.

Private-sector lender Yes Bank Ltd surged 8.5 percent in its biggest daily gain since Oct. 11. The stock was the biggest percentage gainer on the index.

The Indian rupee firmed as much as 0.26 percent at 73.7600 against the dollar, compared with its close of 73.9500 on Wednesday.

Software service exporters were beaten down by the stronger rupee, with Infosys Ltd dropping 1.6 percent and Tata Consultancy Services slipping 1.8 percent.

The Nifty IT index slipped 2.1 percent.

Consumer stocks ITC Ltd and Hindustan Unilever Ltd fell 1.8 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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