Indian shares snap 2-day losing run on strong bank earnings

A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian stocks rose on Monday, after two straight sessions of declines, helped by gains in financial stocks as banks reported strong quarterly results over the weekend.

The Nifty 50 index closed 0.50% higher at 18,118.55, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.53% to 60,941.67.

Thirty-two of the Nifty 50 constituents advanced while 18 declined. Most of the major sectoral indexes gained, with the heavyweight financials rising 0.61%.

Private lenders ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank advanced about 0.16% and 1.18%, respectively, after reporting higher quarterly net profit and healthy loan growth.

"Financials is one pocket that cannot be ignored and will likely power markets in the near term," said Mayuresh Joshi, head of equity research at William O'Neil India.

The earnings from the financials space have been along expected lines on all key parameters such as advances growth, asset quality, net interest margin and provisioning, he added.

Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets said, "Not just the major private lenders ... (but) even housing finance companies like Can Fin Homes have reported good numbers."

However, Gandhi cautioned that the consolidation and volatility would continue across all sectors, including financials, given the high valuations and foreign fund outflows.

So far this month, foreign investors have been net sellers of around $1.90 billion worth of Indian stocks.

Domestic sentiment was also boosted by Wall Street equities' rally on Friday. Most Asian markets were closed on Monday for the Lunar New Year holidays.

Among other stocks, Reliance Industries, India's largest company by market capitalisation, shed 0.51% after reporting a bigger-than-expected fall in quarterly profit late on Friday.

Yes Bank tumbled more than 8% after logging an 80% net slide in net profit as provisions for bad loans surged in the December quarter.

IT stocks advanced 1.88%, with all its constituents logging gains on positive commentary from Coforge, Persistent Systems.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat and Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)