BENGALURU, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Indian shares struggled for momentum on Tuesday as investors awaited quarterly corporate earnings reports for direction, with Housing Development Finance Corp and HCL Technologies offsetting losses in metal stocks.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.18% to 18,034.20 by 0505 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.2% to 60,537.20. Earlier in the day, both indexes fell about 0.2% as a steady rise in new COVID-19 cases persisted.
The Nifty IT index was up 0.6%. HCL Technologies rose 2.76%, topping both benchmark indexes.
All eyes are on the third-quarter earnings season, which IT heavyweights Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Infosys will kick start on Jan. 12.
Lender Housing Development Finance Corp also lent support to the Nifty 50 index with a 2.5% jump.
The Nifty metal index slipped 1.4% after two sessions of gains. The sub-index clocked a near 70% gain in 2021, outperforming the Nifty 50 index's 24% rise.
Metal stocks are due for correction and could be witnessing profit-booking, Equity99 co-founder Rahul Sharma said, adding the long-term outlook for the sector still remained strong.
JSW Steel fell more than 2% and was the top percentage loser on the Nifty 50 index.
Shares of Vodafone Idea slumped 15% after the telecom operator approved conversion of spectrum interest and government dues into equity.
Fortis Healthcare fell more than 2% after a lawsuit was filed against the firm and other entities claiming in excess of $6.5 billion in damages.
Meanwhile, the daily rise in COVID-19 cases remained high, although Tuesday's 168,063 increase was slightly lower than Monday's addition of 179,723.
Analysts have said investors are not too worried about the COVID-19 situation as the Omicron variant though fast spreading is not virulent and hospitalisation cases are very low. (Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Subhranshu Sahu)