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Nifty, Sensex rise for fifth session, IT advances

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Indian shares rose for a fifth straight session on Wednesday, with Tech Mahindra Ltd leading gains in IT stocks, while investors also await the outcome of a three-day central bank policy meeting that ends on Thursday.

Tech Mahindra hit a life high in early trade after the software services exporter reported a nearly 28 percent rise in net profit on Tuesday, which beat analysts’ estimates.

The sentiment rubbed off on the IT index, which gained 1.75 percent. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd rose 0.9 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

The Reserve Bank of India is likely to change its monetary policy stance to “neutral” from “calibrated tightening”, in the first meet under the leadership of Shaktikanta Das, who was appointed last December.
A softer stance could aid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which wants to boost lending and lift growth as it faces national elections by May.

Over two-thirds of 65 economists polled by Reuters predicted the RBI to hold its repo rate at 6.50 percent.

However, analysts are still skeptical of investor risk appetite, suggesting that events like elections will only have a temporary impact on markets.

“Most of the market is in bad shape. The numbers you see on the indexes are driven by a handful of stocks such as Reliance Industries, a few IT stocks and a couple of private sector banks,” said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities.

“Due to issues such as liquidity crunch, IL&FS crisis, investors have become risk-averse and the only way that changes is if companies post healthy results consistently for a few quarters.”

The broader NSE Nifty rose 0.60 percent to 11,000 as of 0557 GMT, while the benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.56 percent higher at 36,821.82.

Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd rose as much as 3.3 percent after posting a quarterly profit compared to a loss predicted by fifteen analysts based on Refinitiv Eikon data.

Peers Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Indian Oil Corp Ltd were also in the green as Brent crude price was largely unchanged.

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