Sensex takes a breather after record-setting rally
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares were largely flat on Tuesday, taking a breather after setting record closes in the previous sessions as investors booked profits in recent outperformers such as ITC Ltd, while the arrival of monsoon rains kept the sentiment upbeat.

The monsoon, which delivers about 70 percent of India's annual rainfall, arrived at the southern Kerala coast on Tuesday, in line with forecasts, a weather office source said, brightening the outlook for higher farm output and robust economic growth.

The arrival of rains bolstered optimism about the economy ahead of the launch of the national goods and services tax (GST) later this year, but analysts said extensive gains in Indian shares blunted the monsoon's impact on markets.

"Progress of the monsoon and GST rollout will be a key factor going ahead," said Siddharth Purohit, senior research analyst at Angel Broking.

"Broadly, markets are consolidating now, and before we see further uptrend, there will be more consolidation for a few sessions," Purohit said, adding: "absence of any major corporate announcements will keep the markets in narrow range for a few sessions."

The broader NSE Nifty was up 0.03 percent at 9,608.2 as of 0634 GMT, while the benchmark BSE Sensex rose 0.11 percent to 31,142.99.

The Sensex posted a record high close for a third consecutive session on Monday, while the Nifty closed at a record high for a second consecutive session.

Among gainers, Aurobindo Pharma climbed as much as 11 percent, posting its biggest intraday gain in over three years, after it said that it did not expect price erosion in the U.S. to impact the company too much due to its wider product basket compared to competitors.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd also rose, touching its highest in more than 1-1/2 years after the engineering company reported a 28 percent rise in March-quarter consolidated profit.

Among decliners, ITC Ltd lost as much as 1.6 percent after gaining 13.6 percent this month as of its last close.

Meanwhile, Coal India Ltd hit a more than three-year low after the coal miner posted a 38 percent fall in consolidated quarterly profit, missing analysts estimates, hurt by higher costs.

State-run power plant equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd dropped to over four-month low, after it reported a bigger-than-expected plunge in March quarter net profit.

Jubilant Foodworks Ltd fell as much as 13.1 percent to post its biggest intraday loss in over 15 months after it reported a 76 percent drop in March quarter profit.

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