Indian shares nearly flat as financials weigh

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BENGALURU, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Indian shares were little changed on Friday after scaling record highs in 18 of the past 27 sessions, as gains in technology stocks offset losses in financials.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.11% at 13,756.25 by 0348 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.11% at 46,939.75. Both indexes are on track for a seventh straight week of gains, a streak not seen since April last year.

As the end of the year approaches, global markets have been swinging between broader optimism about COVID-19 vaccines and a global economic recovery and concerns about still rising infections.

However, Indian markets have mostly outperformed other Asian markets this year, boosted by record inflows from foreign institutional investors, progress on COVID-19 vaccines globally and signs of a nascent economic recovery in the country.

The Nifty IT index rose 1.45%, while the Nifty Bank Index fell 0.46%. Lender HDFC Bank was the top drag to the Nifty 50, falling 1.3%.

Defence manufacturers and suppliers Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd , Bharat Dynamics and Bharat Electronics rose between 0.8% and 1%. India’s defence ministry on Thursday approved https:// proposals to procure equipment worth 270 billion rupees ($3.67 billion) from the domestic industry.

($1 = 73.5220 Indian rupees)

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