Nifty, Sensex track broader Asia higher; auto stocks lead gains

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(Reuters) – Indian shares ticked up on Friday led by auto stocks, while gains in broader Asia on improving Sino-U.S. trade relations and a rate cut from the European Central Bank eased fears of a global economic slowdown, boosting investor confidence.

The broader NSE Nifty was up 0.29% at 11,015.35 as of 0400 GMT, while the benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.29% higher at 37,213.93.

Asian shares inched higher after the European Central Bank delivered bigger-than-expected stimulus on Thursday and U.S. President Donald Trump did not rule out the possibility of an interim pact with China ahead of talks between senior trade negotiators in early October.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked up 0.3% though mainland China and South Korea were closed for public holidays.

“Internationally, there is good news. Central banks are doing whatever they need to do to revive growth,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice-president of research at SMC Global Securities in New Delhi.

“People are hoping against hopes that government will take steps to help revive demand.”

In domestic markets, the NSE auto index rose as much as 1.06%.

The automobile sector is seeking a Goods and Services Tax (GST) cut to help revive demand for products. Markets await the outcome the GST council’s Sept 20 meeting where it is expected to decide on the matter.

The NSE IT index was up as much as 0.49%, with shares of Wipro Ltd adding about 1.17%.

Meanwhile, core inflation, which excludes food and fuel, moderated to 4.2% in August 2019 from 4.25% in July, suggesting that demand conditions remain sluggish, data showed on Thursday.

A slowdown in Asia’s third-largest economy has dampened demand for everything from cars to underwear, with the crucial automobile manufacturing sector hit particularly hard.

The India volatility index was down 1.2% at 0401 GMT.

Among the losers, the NSE public sector bank index, which tracks state-owned lenders, shed about 0.59%, with State Bank of India falling as much as 1.06%.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi AichOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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