Mumbai: Indian shares extended losses to 2% on Thursday afternoon, led by losses in top engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro and lender ICICI Bank.
At 2:17pm, the 30-share BSE index was down 1.97% at 17,130.70 points, with only four components gaining. The 50-share NSE index was down 1.9% at 1,057.50.
Markets were trading 0.4% lower in the morning, in line with the decline in most Asian shares, with banks leading losses ahead of ICICI Bank’s quarterly results.
Index heavyweight ICICI Bank was down 2% at Rs859.60. According to a Reuters’ poll, the lender may post a 17% decline in December quarter net profit.
Rival HDFC Bank was down 1.7%, while top lender State Bank of India dropped 0.4%.
By 09:42am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading down 0.4% at 17,405.45, with half of its components declining.
“Market is not really going anywhere. It has just been in a range,” said Daljeet Kohli, head of research for private client group at Emkay Global.
“We will see such rangebound trade until earnings get over and will have clarity as to where we (markets) are headed,” Kohli added.
State-run Oil & Natural Gas Corp recouped some of Wednesday’s losses and was trading 0.7% higher at Rs1,171.10, ahead of its quarterly earnings release scheduled for after market hours.
The state-run explorer is likely to report a 92% jump in its quarterly net profit, a Reuters poll showed.
Software companies led the gainers. Sector leader Tata Consultancy topped the list with a 1% rise, while Wipro gained 1.1%.
On Wednesday, India’s No. 3 software services exporter Wipro announced an upbeat outlook and forecast-beating quarterly profit, as a global recovery boosts demand from key financial clients.
“With decent Q3 results and Q4 guidance, good margin trends and decent hiring, we expect consensus upgrades to continue,” Citigroup said in a note on Wednesday.
“But given the stock’s recent sharp run-up, we expect its upside momentum to slow in the short term. TCS and Wipro remain our top picks on a relative basis,” the note added.
In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.8:1, while 80 million shares changed hands on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The 50-share NSE index was down 0.6% at 5,192.25.