INDIA STOCKS-Indian shares pare gains as investors eye GDP data, Powell's speech

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(Updates levels, adds analyst comments)

BENGALURU, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Indian shares erased morning gains on Wednesday to trade nearly flat, as investors cautiously awaited gross domestic product data and the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech.

The S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.02% to 62,672.80, as of 11:00 a.m. IST.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ticked 0.01% higher to 18,619.95, after rising to a new record high of 18,679.55 in the morning. Still, the 63-points trading range so far on the Nifty was the its narrowest in little over a year.

Both the benchmarks rose as much as 0.3% earlier in the session.

Markets are likely to trade in a narrow range ahead of Powell's speech on rate-hike trajectory, said Prashanth Tapse, Research Analyst, Senior VP (Research) at Mehta Equities.

"Nifty could soon hit the 19,000 mark, due to multiple factors such as easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China, FII (foreign institutional investor) buying and slide in U.S. dollar index," Tapse added.

Fed's Powell is scheduled to speak about the economy and labour market at a Brookings Institution event on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, data due at 5:30 p.m. IST on Wednesday is expected to show the Indian economy likely returned to 6.2% annual growth rate in July-September after double-digit expansion in the previous quarter.

Sectorally, Nifty Metal rose the most and extended gains for second straight session, adding 1.1%, with 12 of the 15 constituents rising in the trade.

Jindal Steel, Jindal Stainless, Hindustan Copper , Hindalco and Steel Authority of India were among the top gainers in the index.

The broader indexes outperformed their larger peers, with Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 rising over 0.3%

Among individual domestic stocks, Inox Wind and Inox Green surged 7.45% and 3.72%, respectively, as the companies repaid 4.11 billion rupees of debt.

Shares of Zomato jumped 5.1% on multiple block deals.

Asian markets shrugged off weak factory activity data from China with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index adding 0.70%. ($1 = 81.6160 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Akansha Victor in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Eileen Soreng)



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