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​India: stocks drift higher

On Thursday, August 18, Indian equities turned in positive performances for the first time in three days after the release of the FOMC minutes and an inflow of foreign capital.

By the final bell, the Nifty 50 advanced 0.57% to 8,673.25, while the BSE Sensex 30 Index grew 0.42% to 28,123.44.

Nifty 50 gainers included UltraTech Cement, Power Grid and IndusInd Bank (up over 3.5%), while the laggards were led by Coal India, Larsen & Toubro (off more than 1.3%).

As regards BSE Sensex 30, Coal India, Larsen & Toubro and Gail led the decliners, while NTPC, ICICI Bank, and Bharti Airtel topped the outperformers.

In the currency market, the USD/INR pair eased 0.12% to 66.811, while the EUR/INR pair firmed 0.14% to 75.642, and the 10-year government bond yield reached 7.117%.

Port operator Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone was well bid.

Also on the upside, shares of Indian power utilities company Power Grid surged 4.21% to an all-time high.

Also on the plus side, the biggest Indian mobile operator by subscribers Bharti Airtel added 2.07% to its market cap on news Singapore Telecommunications acquired a stake in the company.

Indian lender Axis Bank ended 0.62% higher after hitting a 13-month high, while ICICI Bank shares jumped to a 3-week high.

Cement producer India Cements advanced 1.53% as quarterly earnings climbed 16%.

Shares of leading Indian auto maker Tata Motors rose 0.32% after the company raised prices for its Tiago hatchback.

On the downside, Dalmia Bharat pulled back 2.41% despite a 76% upsurge in net profit for the quarter ending June 30.

From a technical standpoint, the BSE Sensex 30 Index is trading within an ascending wedge. Stochastic lines are on the buy side so the benchmark is expected to trade within the pattern for some time.