Mumbai: India’s benchmark equity indices on Wednesday pared its opening gains as investors awaiting fresh cues after US-China struggled to strike a partial trade deal after their political tensions flared up over Hong Kong protest.

Investors eye developments on US-China trade deal after Beijing threatened retaliation if Washington enacts the Hong Kong Bill that would require an annual review of whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to justify the city’s special trading status.

At 12.30 pm, the benchmark Sensex was up 0.2% to 38595.81 points, while the Nifty gained 0.3% to 11457.10 points. Earlier Sensex and Nifty had gained nearly 0.4%

Brokerage firm IIFL Securites said "for today, expect more color as banks and auto stocks see more buying given the earnings season and expected better credit expansion from this festive season onward".

Back home, on the Sensex, Bajaj Finance rose 2.8%, ICICI Bank 1.4%, HDFC 1.2%.

Among laggards, Vedanta Ltd fell 2.2% followed by Hero MotoCorp and ITC which were down 1.8% and 1.3% respectively.

"The on-going earnings season is likely to set the tone for the Indian markets as some of the heavyweights would be declaring their results this week. We expect that more than the earnings announcement, the outlook given by the management would hold importance especially for consumption driven companies. On the global front, market participants would keep a close watch on US-China trade talks along with movement in currency and crude oil prices", said Ajit Mishra vice president Research Religare Broking.

India Tourism Development Corp gained 6% after the company said government is in process of appointing adviser, consultant to explore handing over or subleasing Hotel Ashok.

ONGC has gained 11% in the last four sessions after the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US petroleum giant EXXON-Mobil. This MoU will enable the two companies to undertake joint technical studies and cooperate in frontier areas like deep water and other Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) blocks of ONGC in east and west coast and open acreages for joint bidding.

Bajaj Consumer Care surged 20% after its promoter sold 3.22 crore shares or about 21.9% stake, according to data from stock exchanges. This brings down promoter holding in the company to 38%.

MCX rose 3% after the company reported an over two-fold jump in its net profit to 71.75 crore for the quarter ended September.

Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd rose 5% after The Economic Times reported that Saudi Aramco may be in the fray to buy out Indian government’s stake in the state-owned oil retailer.

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