Indian shares crept higher on Thursday amid expectations the tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan won’t escalate further, while investors awaited a key economic data due later in the day.
The United States, China and other world powers have urged restraint from the neighbours following retaliatory air strikes in the wake of a suicide car bombing that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Feb. 14.
The broader NSE index rose 0.18 per cent to 10,825.65 as of 0600 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index advanced 0.22 per cent to 35,983.57.
A Reuters poll showed that India’s economy likely grew at its slowest pace in over a year in the October-December quarter, as weaker rural incomes and softer urban demand weighed on consumption.
If the forecast proves accurate, it may make it harder for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP to persuade voters that government policies were delivering economic success.
Energy and financial stocks led the gains on the NSE index, with Reliance Industries Ltd rising up to 1.3 per cent, and HDFC Bank Ltd adding as much as 0.7 per cent.
The NSE index is on track to end the month largely flat, while the BSE index is likely to finish 0.7 per cent weaker.
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