Indian shares inch up as risk sentiment improves, volatility eases

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

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares rose for a third straight session on Tuesday and volatility plunged to within a whisker of its record closing low as worries over a major escalation in the Middle East conflict abated.

The NSE Nifty 50 settled 0.14% higher at 22,368, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.12% to 73,738.45. They have gained about 1.7% each over the past three sessions.

Asian markets advanced 0.8% as investors scaled back safe-haven bets on easing worries of a wider Mideast conflict. [MKTS/GLOB]

The Indian stock market's volatility index plunged in its steepest one-day decline since May 23, 2019, when the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party was re-elected for a second term, and settled just a few percentage points shy of its record closing low from July 28, 2023.

Besides the tempering of Mideast tensions, in-line company earnings are also supporting gains and draining volatility, said Kranti Bathini, equity strategist at WealthMills Securities.

The top Nifty 50 gainers included Nestle India, Hindustan Unilever and HCL Tech, all due to report quarterly results later this week, which gained 0.9%-2%.

Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services dropped 5.52% after uncovering company funds were embezzled by forging some documents for retail vehicle loans at one of its branches.

Reliance Industries, the second-heaviest Nifty 50 stock, fell 1.39%, capping the index's gains, despite reporting a quarterly profit that edged past analysts' estimates.

Tejas Networks surged 20%, while Hatsun Agro climbed 9%, rallying after strong quarterly results.

They were the top gainers in the broader, more domestically-focussed small-cap index, which gained 1.23%. The mid-caps rose by a similar margin.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and Savio D'Souza)