Indian shares inch up on energy gains; inflation data in focus

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People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo

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BENGALURU, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Energy stocks helped Indian indexes edge higher on Thursday, while small and midcap firms regained some footing, as investors shifted focus to monthly domestic inflation data due later in the day.

By 0514 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) was up 0.25% at 16,321.60 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) rose 0.32% to 54,701.

The Nifty energy index (.NIFTYENR) gained 0.6%, with Power Grid Corp (PGRD.NS) and Tata Power Ltd (TTPW.NS) adding 2.8% and 1.9%, respectively.

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A strong overnight close on Wall Street and easing inflation worries are driving Indian markets, but subdued Asian stocks have capped gains, said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

India's consumer price inflation data for July, due at 1200 GMT on Thursday, likely slowed to a three-month low on falling food prices and an easing of supply chain disruptions, a Reuters poll found. read more

Nifty 50 components Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL.NS), Hero MotoCorp Ltd (HROM.NS), Tata Steel Ltd (TISC.NS) and Eicher Motors Ltd (EICH.NS) will report results later in the day.

The Nifty mid-cap index (.NIFMDCP100) and small-cap index (.NIFSMCP100) gained 0.9% and 1.8%, respectively, after falling 2% and 3% earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Asian shares dipped as fears about the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus weighed on sentiment, even as tame U.S. inflation eased fears of a Federal Reserve rate hike.

Shares of luggage maker VIP Industries Ltd (VIPI.NS) rose as much as 13.9%, while Punjab Chemicals and Crop Protection Ltd (PCHM.NS) surged 18% following upbeat quarterly profits.

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Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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