Indian shares extend gains to a third day, ONGC rallies

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares extended gains to a third session on Wednesday, boosted by energy stocks, and Oil and Natural Gas Corp surged over 5% as oil prices peaked to multi-year highs.

FILE PHOTO: A road sign is seen next to Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.19% to 17,857.65, while the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.21% at 59,873.62 by 0428 GMT.

Nifty’s energy sub-index advanced the most among major sub-indexes, extending gains for a fourth consecutive day and hitting a record high. Indian oil and gas explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp extended its heady rally and rose as much as 5.56%.

U.S. oil prices rose for a fifth day on Wednesday to their highest since 2014. While sky-high prices stoke inflationary worries in the economy, expensive crude tends to benefit companies like ONGC. [O/R]

Coal India rose as much as 3% before giving up gains to trade 1.16% lower. The government on Tuesday said Indian coal mines that produce coal for their own use will be allowed to sell 50% of their annual output in the open market.

Meanwhile, ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service upgraded its outlook on India to stable from negative on Tuesday and said downside risks have reduced.

“At least for the present, valuation concerns have taken a back seat,” V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, wrote in a note.

Moody’s upgrade has come as a shot in the arm for bulls, he added.

Consumer durables firm Marico rose 5.74% to hit a record high after the company said its international business delivered double-digit constant currency growth in the second quarter.

Bucking the trend, IT stocks and metal scrips edged 0.27% and 0.43% lower, respectively.

Other Asian stock markets dropped on Wednesday as concerns that high energy prices could force central banks to raise rates more quickly weighed on investor sentiment. [MKTS/GLOB]

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