Indian shares end flat; fall in HDFC Bank offsets IT gains

A man walks past the new logo of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Hritam Mukherjee

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares ended Thursday on a flat note as a drop in heavyweight HDFC Bank offset gains across sectors, led by information technology stocks, on fresh hopes of a rate cut by the US Federal Reserve.

The NSE Nifty 50 settled up 0.06% at 24,302.15 points, while the S&P BSE Sensex added 0.08% to 80,049.67.

Both the benchmarks rose about 0.6% to hit record highs for the third session in a row on Thursday.

The broader, more domestically focussed small- and mid-caps rose about 0.5% each, outperforming the benchmarks.

Nine out of the 13 major sectors logged gains on the day.

Top private lender HDFC Bank fell 2.35% after a three-session winning streak in which it rose about 5% on hopes of its weightage in the MSCI Emerging Markets index being increased

U.S. rate-sensitive IT stocks rose 1.1%. IT companies, which earn a significant share of their revenue from the U.S., stand to benefit from an early rate cut, according to analysts.

The gains in IT stocks comes after investors renewed their bets that the Federal Reserve could begin cutting rates in September following soft labour market data in the U.S.. [GLOB/MKTS]

Higher Fed rate makes emerging markets equities unattractive for foreign investors as elevated U.S. bond yields offer safety over riskier assets.

Pharma stocks added 1.39%, and was the top sectoral percentage gainer, driven by Lupin which ended about 8% higher after a Kotak double upgrade, citing robust earnings outlook.

Sun Pharma and Zydus Lifeciences rose 1.56% and 3.82%, respectively after getting tentative approvals from European and U.S. drug regulators for key drugs.

Third heaviest Nifty 50 stock - ICICI Bank gained 2.61% on multiple block deals at a premium over last close.

(Reporting by Hritam Mukherjee and Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala, Janane Venkatraman and Nivedita Bhattacharjee)