Indian shares cautiously lower ahead of Gujarat exit poll results

Indian stocks traded cautious on Thursday ahead of exit poll results for Gujarat election.

Traders walks infront of an electronic board in Mumbai, India. Reuters

Indian stocks traded cautiously lower on Thursday ahead of exit poll results for Gujarat election.

The official results will be known only on December 18, but the exit polls due later in the day will give an indication of whether BJP will retain Gujarat or the newly appointed Congress president Rahul Gandhi will taste victory this time.

At 0640 GMT, the S&P BSE Sensex lost 0.23 percent at 32,976 while the broader NSE Nifty declined 0.24 percent to 10,168.

Among the top Sensex laggards, TCS fell 2.8 percent, Wipro declined 1.3 percent, Power Grid lost 0.7 percent while Tata Steel was down 1 percent.

Corporation Bank fell 2.2 percent after the central bank placed the lender under Prompt Corrective Action framework for high bad loans.

But Manpasand Beverages jumped 8 percent after the central bank raised overseas investment limit to 49 percent from 24 percent.

S Chand and Co gained 4 percent after brokerage firm Credit Suisse initiated coverage on the stock with an 'outperform' rating and a target price of Rs 625 a share.

Market breadth was in the favour of gainers, with about 2 stocks advancing to every 1 stock that declined.

Asian shares edged higher after the U.S. Federal Reserve's comments tempered
prospects for future tightening. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.45 percent

Later in the day, the European Central Bank is expected to reveal details of plans to taper asset purchases. Comments on the outlook for 2018 will be the focus for investors as they weigh the impact of coming policy normalization on global asset prices.