Indian shares hit 4-week high as inflation fears ease, Titan jumps on strong sales

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A general view of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), after Sensex surpassed the 50,000 level for the first time, in Mumbai, India, January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

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BENGALURU, July 7 (Reuters) - Indian shares touched a near four-week high on Thursday after falling crude prices soothed inflation concerns and as watch maker Titan Co surged 8% after reporting strong quarterly sales.

The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) rose 0.8% to 16,115, its highest since June 10. The S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) was up 0.7% at 54,140.38, as of 0506 GMT.

Brent crude futures extended declines for a third session on Thursday, slipping under $100 a barrel, as fears of a potential global recession spurred concerns about oil demand.

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India, the world's third-largest importer, could benefit from the drop in prices.

"Valuations have become slightly more comfortable in India. Macro data points coming in are strong and crude prices have fallen considerably, which is a huge positive for the country," said Siddhartha Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

Titan (TITN.NS) led gains in Nifty 50 index, surging 7.9%, after its first-quarter sales surged 205%.

Kalyan Jewellers India (KALN.NS) rose as much as 6.2% after providing strong sales data for June quarter.

Some slow down in sales and demand was expected from June quarter, but quarterly reports from the consumption-driven space are pointing to consistent strong demand, Khemka said.

India's central bank took a slew of measures on Wednesday to boost foreign exchange inflows, including allowing overseas investors to buy short-term corporate debt and opening of more government securities under the fully accessible route. read more

Foreign investors bought Indian shares worth $270 million on Wednesday. They have sold a net $273 million worth of Indian equities so far this week, compared with $517 million worth of net disposal last week, according to Refinitiv Eikon.

Global stocks were mixed, after Federal Reserve's minutes released late Wednesday showed officials rallied around a large rate hike at its June meeting. read more

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Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman and Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Amy Caren Daniel

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