Indian shares defy global weakness to extend winning streak

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares ended higher for the third session in a row on Wednesday, in contrast to their Asian peers that fell after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned of bigger interest rate hikes.

The Nifty 50 index added 0.24% to 17,754.40, while the S&P BSE Sensex closed 0.21% higher at 60,348.09.

Both benchmarks opened lower, in tandem with Asian stocks. However, Asian stocks remained under pressure after Powell's said on Tuesday that strong U.S. economic data could lead to prolonged and higher-than-expected rate hikes.

The probability of a 50 basis point hike at the Fed's policy meeting later this month has now risen above 70%. [.FEDWATCH]

Eight of the 13 major domestic sectoral indexes advanced, with high weightage financials and auto adding 0.13% and 0.85%, respectively.

However, the information technology (IT) index fell nearly 0.40%. IT companies earn a significant share of their revenue from the United States, making them sensitive to the possibility of higher rates curbing client spending.

The broader market, however, continued to benefit from U.S. boutique investment firm GQG Partners' vote of confidence in the Adani group, with its $1.87 billion investment earlier this month.

Adani Enterprises and Adani Ports added 2.83% and 3.11%, respectively, and were among the top Nifty 50 gainers.

"Foreign investors turning buyers in Indian equities over the last three sessions and the easing of concerns over Adani group are the only silver-linings for our markets," said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets.

Among stocks, IndusInd Bank jumped nearly 5% to the top of the Nifty 50 after a report said its chief executive officer's term could be extended.

Bajaj Auto gained 2.31% after analysts projected a recovery in its domestic two-wheelers business next fiscal year. ($1 = 82.2100 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatrama, Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Savio D'Souza)