March 9, 2021

Indian shares flat as HDFC weighs; Muthoot Finance falls

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares ended flat on Monday, as losses in top non-banking finance…

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares ended flat on Monday, as losses in top non-banking finance company HDFC countered gains in information technology and energy stocks, while top gold financing company Muthoot Finance fell after the death of its chairman.

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

The blue chip NSE Nifty 50 index added 0.12% to close at 14,956.20, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.07% to close at 50,441.07. Both indexes had gained as much as 1.2% earlier in the session.

Market sentiment also tracked global shares, which were mixed as initial optimism over the U.S. Senate’s passing of a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill gave way to inflation fears.

In domestic trading, Muthoot Finance Ltd shed 2.4%, after the company said bit.ly/3v3Lqva its chairman M. G. George Muthoot passed away on Friday. Local papers said the chairman fell to his death from the fourth floor of his house.

The Nifty Financial Services Index, which rose 1.62% last week, closed 0.37% lower. HDFC Ltd was the biggest drag to the Nifty 50 index, falling 1.3%.

The Nifty IT index, which rose 3.82% last week, continued to add to its gains, closing 0.47% higher.

The Nifty energy index ended 1.14% higher, amid a surge in Brent crude futures to their highest in more than a year. [O/R]

Defence, mining equipment and rail coach maker BEML Ltd closed 20% higher after the Mint newspaper reported bit.ly/3kVpvS3 that at least six companies, including automakers Tata Motors Ltd and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, are looking to buy a 26% stake in the state-run company.

Search engine company Just Dial Ltd gained 10% after it signed bit.ly/3kV8mIh a deal to become an advertising sponsor for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

The Economic Times newspaper also reported bit.ly/3bpKj0X that the digital arm of the Tata Group conglomerate held talks with Just Dial for a strategic alliance or a stake.

Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber