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Indian shares rise on banks, metals boost, HUL results expectation

By Vishwadha Chander

BENGALURU, July 22 (Reuters) – Indian shares opened higher on Thursday, buoyed by banking and metal stocks, expectations of strong performance from consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever , and on gains in global markets.

By 0520 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 1.15% to 15,810 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 1.2% to 52,817.42

The Nifty Bank Index, a major drag earlier this week, was up 1.27% helped by shares of Bajaj Finance, which was up 3.7% – the biggest gainer on the Nifty50.

“While there is some stress on asset quality, Bajaj Finance did post a fairly decent set of numbers and their guidance for credit cost is pretty encouraging,” said Jyoty Roy, deputy vice president, research at Angel Broking, Mumbai.

Analysts expect Hindustan Unilever to post strong quarterly growth on Thursday.

The consumer goods giant is likely to report 21.3% revenue growth, led by the beauty and personal care, and foods and refreshment segments – both of which were adversely impacted by lockdown in the base quarter, analysts at ICICI Direct said in a note.

Investors are also eyeing quarterly results from Bajaj Auto and Ultratech Cement, as well as Zomato IPO’s share allotment later in the day.

Nifty FMCG was up 0.91%, while Nifty metals was up 2.25%.

Asian stocks shrugged off virus worries to rally on Thursday, while bonds nursed losses and oil held onto sharp gains as investors looked ahead to the European Central Bank for reassurance that policy support will continue for some time.

Wall Street extended gains on Wednesday fuelled by positive corporate earnings from major companies. (Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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