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Indian Shares Stay at Three-wk Highs as Oil Slips Overnight

BENGALURU, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Indian shares on Wednesday hovered at three-week highs hit in the previous session, tracking an overnight fall in oil prices and gains in other Asian equities following the overnight rally in Wall Street on strong corporate reports.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was 0.51% higher at 17,576.50 as of 0432 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.54% to 59,281.66. Both indexes were on track to add to three straight session of gains.

"There are two factors supporting the ongoing rally in the market: one, support from the U.S. market aided by some excellent quarterly results, and two, foreign investors selling getting completely overwhelmed by domestic buying," said V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Foreign institutional investors sold a net of 1.53 billion Indian rupees ($18.58 million) worth of equities on Tuesday, while domestic investors bought 20.85 billion rupees worth of shares, as per provisional data available with the National Stock Exchange.

"However, high global inflation and tightening central banks pose headwinds to the rally," Vijayakumar added.

Oil prices settled lower on Tuesday on fears of higher U.S. supply combined with an economic slowdown and lower Chinese fuel demand. Crude prices were higher in early Asian trade.

India, the world's third-biggest importer and consumer of oil, benefits from a fall in crude prices as it brings down imported inflation.

Among stocks, Network18 Media & Investments was down as much as 6.6% to hit an over two-week low after it reported a second quarter loss on Tuesday, as advertisers spent less.

Prestige Estates Projects Ltd rose as much as 3.2% to post their biggest intraday percentage gain since September 29. The real estate developer said that the group saw second quarter sales of 35.11 billion rupees, up by 66% from a year ago.

Nifty 50 components Nestle India Ltd and Ultratech Cement Ltd were down 0.2% and up 1%, respectively, ahead of their quarterly earnings results later in the day.

In broader Asia, equities were mostly higher on Wednesday, with U.S. corporate earnings aiding sentiment, while traders awaited British inflation readings later in the day.

($1 = 82.3600 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman

Source: Reuters

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