Indian shares snap four-day losing streak; lenders recover

Last Updated: Thu, Aug 30, 2012 11:50 hrs

* BSE rises 0.3 pct; NSE rises 0.5 pct

* Nifty finds support at 50-day moving average

* GDP on Fri key for near term direction

By Abhishek Vishnoi

MUMBAI, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Thursday for the first session in five as lenders such as ICICI Bank rose after steep recent falls, although caution still prevailed ahead of key economic growth data.

Investors will scrutinise April-June gross domestic product data out on Friday, given concerns that India's economy is slowing sharply even as inflationary pressures remain, making the prospect of monetary action uncertain.

A Reuters poll of 38 economists forecast growth of 5.3 percent for the April-June quarter, unchanged from January-March quarter and marking its slowest growth since 2009.

Still, technical analysts were at least comforted the NSE index's recent support held firm at the 50-day moving average.

"A weak GDP numbers is already priced in, and it should force RBI and government to act," said A.K. Prabhakar, senior vice president of equity research at Anand Rathi Financial Services, referring to Reserve Bank of India.

"If Nifty holds to 5,250-5,220, which is closer to its 50-day moving average on sustainable basis, then 5,500 is possible in the coming month."

India's benchmark BSE index rose 0.29 percent to 17,541.64 points, after declining a total of 2 percent over the previous four sessions.

The 50-share NSE index rose 0.52 percent to 5,315.05 points, closing above the 50-day moving average at 5,255.74 points, which has largely provide support since mid-June.

Trading was volatile as August derivative contracts expired at the end of the session.

Among gainers, lenders recovered from recent steep falls as HDFC Bank rose 0.6 percent, while ICICI Bank gained 1 percent after slumping 5.9 percent over the previous four sessions.

Other recent sharp decliners also gained, with aluminum producer Hindalco Industries rising 2.2 percent after dropping 8.2 percent over the previous four sessions.

Defensive stocks gained as well ahead of the GDP data. Hindustan Unilever rose 1.2 percent, while cigarette maker ITC added 0.5 percent.

However, Hero MotoCorp fell 1.4 percent after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "overweight", citing caution about the company's near-term outlook in the domestic two-wheeler market.

Tech Mahindra Ltd slumped 5 percent after British telecoms firm BT unloaded about a 5 percent stake in the Indian IT service provider.

Tata Steel fell 2.3 percent while Jindal Steel and Power fell 1.9 percent, extending recent sharp declines on continued worries about the fallout from the controversial coal concessions that has consumed parliament. For more stocks on the move double click

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