Mumbai: Indian shares eased in choppy trade on Wednesday as investors locked in profits ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives after the market had rallied nearly 12% over four weeks.
Traders said the undertone remained upbeat with foreigners continuing to bet on robust earnings in the rapidly expanding economy, while returns in the developed world were uncertain.
Export-focused outsourcer Infosys Technologies firmed 1.9% to a record Rs3,075.
Sterlite Industries was a big loser as it slumped as much as 8.2% after the Economic Times said a court had ordered closure of the metal producer’s copper smelting plant in south India citing pollution and health hazards.
At 11:29am, the 30-share BSE index was down 0.4% at 20,024.52 points, with 20 of its components declining, after rising 0.6% early. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.3% at 6,008.75 points.
“The market is a bit volatile because of derivatives expiry tomorrow,” said Ambareesh Baliga, vice-president of Karvy Stock Broking, referring to the contracts on the National Stock Exchange.
“But the party is still on. Foreigners are pumping in big money as the developed world isn’t going through a great time,” he said.
The benchmark index hit a 32-month high on Monday and is just around 1,200 points from an all-time high.
Foreigners have bought shares worth $5.1 billion in September, boosting the net inflow since the start of January to almost $18 billion -- surpassing last year’s record $17.5 billion investment.
Tata Consultancy Services, the country’s top outsourcer, was up 0.5% after it won a A$50 million infrastructure management contract from AGL.
Mahindra Satyam was choppy ahead of its review of audited results for fiscal years 2009 and 2010.
In the broader market, gainers were almost equal to the number of losers on volume of 279 million shares.
Elsewhere, the MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan rose 0.8%.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries firmed 1.8% to Rs2,004 after the drugmaker said on Tuesday it got tentative US FDA approval for generic version of Sanofi Aventis’ Rilutek.
Abbott India rose 1.3% to Rs1,120.10, after it said late on Tuesday June-August profit rose by 8%.
Solar photo-voltaic cellmaker Indosolar listed at Rs29.80, 2.8% higher than its issue price of Rs29, on the BSE. The stock erased all of its gains and was trading at Rs24.