Indian shares rise ahead of Powell speech; set for first weekly loss in six


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BENGALURU — Indian shares rose on Friday as tech and metal stocks gained, but were headed for their first weekly loss in six, while investors awaited U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech for cues on the path of interest rate hikes.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.6% at 17,627.55, as of 0456 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.56% to 59,101.91. Both the indexes are on course for a weekly loss of more than 0.5%, after five straight weeks of gains.

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The Nifty 50 is up around 3% so far this month, after gaining 8.7% in July on easing crude prices and hopes of a slower pace of rate hikes. The index is among the best performers in Asia this year, after recovering sharply from a trough in June.

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“We are in a consolidation phase now, there was hardly any meaningful correction from 15,200 to near 18,000,” said Ajit Mishra, vice-president of research at Religare Broking, adding that the market should spend some time around current levels.

“With no major triggers locally, global inflation concerns had kept the market on edge, and now investors are watching the Fed’s Jackson Hole meeting for any clues on the trajectory of future rate hikes.”

Fed officials have maintained that they will continue raising rates until inflation has been squeezed from the economy, but have not committed to the size of these increases.

The Nifty IT index climbed 1.6% after four straight sessions of losses, while the Nifty Metal index gained 2%.

Automaker Eicher Motors dropped 3.2%, its biggest fall in more than three weeks, after UBS downgraded the stock to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’, citing a 34% rally this year.

Nelco Ltd surged 10% to a seven-month high after the satellite communication service provider signed an agreement with satellite operator Intelsat Commercial Aviation to offer inflight connectivity services. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Rashmi Aich)


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