As HCL losses offset auto gains Indian shares muted

Indian shares were largely unchanged on Monday as a 6% drop in IT firm HCL Technologies (HCLT.NS) after disappointing quarterly results offset gains in auto stocks. The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) rose 0.09% to 18,264.15 by 0437 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) inched up 0.07% to 61,272.12.

Last week both indexes notched their fourth straight weekly gain and have recovered nearly 10% since slipping into correction territory on Dec. 20. “Fundamentals in India are good, earnings are largely looking good, the upcoming budget could hold some surprises, but we are only going to move upwards, said IIFL Securities Director Sanjiv Bhasin.

On Monday, auto stocks (.NIFTYAUTO) rose 1.3%, led by a 5.3% jump in Hero Motocorp (HROM.NS). The two-wheeler maker said it will invest about $56.6 million in electric vehicle (EV) firm Ather Energy. 

Four of the top gainers on the Nifty 50 index were auto stocks, car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MRTI.NS) rose nearly 3% after it hiked prices and Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) was up 2.4% after a media report said it was planning to make 50,000 EVs in the next fiscal year. Footwear retail chain Metro Brands (METB.NS) surged over 18% after it logged a 63% jump in quarterly profit after tax.

HCL Technologies (HCLT.NS) slumped over 6% and was the top percentage loser on the Nifty 50 index after it posted a drop in its quarterly net profit on Friday.

State-owned GAIL (GAIL.NS) fell over 2% after media reports said its director of marketing had been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Shares of Nifty component Ultratech Cement (ULTC.NS) inched 1.5% lower ahead of quarterly results.

Meanwhile, a steady rise in India’s daily COVID-19 cases eased, the country logged 258,089 cases on Monday, lower than Sunday’s 271,202 cases. Across the board, Asian shares were also choppy as a new set of Chinese economic data confirmed the deadening effect of coronavirus restrictions on consumer spending.

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