Indian shares end flat as auto, energy offset tech losses; cinema chains surge

People stand outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), after Sensex surpassed the 60,000 level for the first time, in Mumbai, India, September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares closed little changed on Monday as gains among automotive and energy sectors countered losses in technology stocks, while the country’s biggest cinema chain operators surged on easing of COVID-19 restrictions in theatres.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.01% higher at 17,855.1 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.05% to 60,077.88. The BSE Sensex had hit a record high during the session.

The indexes flitted between positive and negative territories during the session, pushing the Nifty’s volatility index up more than 6%. Still, shares hovered near all-time highs on continued boost from a fast-paced vaccination drive and optimism around the upcoming festive season.

Cinema chain operators PVR Ltd and INOX Leisure jumped about 6% and 8%, respectively, as the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka eased COVID-19-led curbs on movie theatres occupancies.

Auto stocks rose over 3% to drive gains on the index. They gained for a fourth straight session, with Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors jumping about 6% and 4%, respectively.

Technology stocks fell nearly 3% to snap four straight sessions of gains, with HCL Technologies dropping over 4% to be the biggest loser on the Nifty 50 index.

Energy shares were up more than 1%, with state-owned gas explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp advancing over 2.5%. The sector benefited from a rise in oil prices. [O/R]

Data showed on Friday India’s crude oil imports rose to a three-month peak in August, in anticipation of higher demand during the festive season.

Real estate stocks jumped about 3%, marking a fifth straight day of gain. Prestige Estates Projects advanced 8.5%.

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