Indian shares were nearly flat on Friday while the benchmark BSE index scaled a new peak as retail inflation hit a five-month high in June and stayed above the central bank’s target for the eighth straight month, raising chances of a rate hike.
India’s annual retail inflation rose 5.0 per cent in June, but was below market expectations, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
June was the eighth straight month in which inflation was higher than the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4.0 per cent.
The broader NSE index was flat at 11,024.10 as of 0632 GMT, and was set to end the week 2.4 per cent higher.
The BSE index inched up 0.14 per cent to 36,600.77. It briefly hit a fresh high of 36,740.07 in early trade and was on track to end the week 2.7 per cent higher. The index had hit a high of 36,699.53 on Thursday.
Public sector lenders took a hit, with the Nifty PSU bank index dropping as much as 2.5 per cent. Bank of Baroda Ltd fell 3.8 per cent while State Bank of India slipped 1.6 percent.
Shares of software services exporter HCL Technologies Ltd fell as much as 3.0 per cent after it approved a buyback proposal on Thursday.
Meanwhile, an uptick in oil prices pushed energy stocks higher, such as Reliance Industries Ltd which gained 1.6 per cent.
Infosys Ltd, which is due to report results later in the day, gained 1.8 per cent.
Meanwhile, Asian markets took a breather from concerns around escalating U.S.-China trade war, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.56 per cent.
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