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Sensex ends flat, Kotak Mahindra gains

Brokers trade at their computer terminals at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters Bengaluru Jul 20, 2017, 10.05 AM (IST)

Indian shares were largely flat on Thursday, as investors parsed through earnings, buying into stocks such as Kotak Mahindra Bank that beat results while hitting those such as Mindtree that missed estimates.

Analysts said quarterly results were likely to remain the main driver of the market in the weeks ahead, at a time when strong gains have raised concerns about valuations.

Wipro and Reliance Industries are among the companies expected to announce results later in the day, with shares in each up as much as 1 per cent.

"What we see is caution in the market for the near term because of high valuations and as expectations from first-quarter earnings are muted," said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

The broader NSE Nifty edged down 0.06 per cent at 9,893.55 as of 0642 GMT, while the benchmark BSE Sensex was up 0.03 per cent at 31,964.92.

Private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank rose as much as 2.2 per cent, after posting a 23 per cent jump in its first-quarter net profit, helped by higher interest and fee income.

Among other gainers, Oil and Natural Gas rose as much as 2.98 per cent as traders bet it would be able to buy a 51.1 per cent stake in state-refiner Hindustan Petroleum without a tender offer.

Shares in Hindustan Petroleum fell 3.5 per cent.

IT company Mindtree fell as much as 4.3 per cent to its lowest since May 5, after it reported a 1.6 per cent drop in June-quarter profit.

State-run lender Canara Bank as much as 6 per cent after it posted a lower-than-expected first-quarter profit due to higher provisions for bad loans.

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