Mumbai: Indian shares were trading 0.1 percent lower on Friday, as fears of rupee appreciation pulled down outsourcers and energy giant Reliance Industries slid after report it has sweetened its offer to buy a controlling stake in LyondellBasell.
Export focussed software companies edged lower, on expectations the rupee may strengthen further this year, on the back of high foreign inflows.
Infosys Technologies was down 1.4% while Tata Consultancy and Wipro dropped 1.1% each.
According to a Reuters poll, the Indian unit is seen picking up where it left off in 2009, rising another 4% on top of its 4.7% increase last year, its appreciation driven mainly by inbound portfolio investment.
“Rupee appreciation is clearly hitting IT stocks. This is a big negative for the pack,” said Ambareesh Baliga, vice-president of Karvy Stock Broking.
By 09:56am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading down 0.07% at 17,603.14, with 17 of its components declining. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.1% at 5,289.85.
“Valuations are looking expensive, and we have reached dangerous levels. It is liquidity more than fundamentals, that is driving the market,” said Baliga. “Investors should start exiting and book profits.”
Energy major Reliance Industries was down 0.2% at Rs1,103.
Reliance’s has recently made a new offer has pushed its valuation of Lyondell to about $13.5 billion, up from $12 billion in an initial bid made in November, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Metals stocks dipped in line with a decline in base metal prices, which were hit by fear of tighter Chinese monetary policy.
Sterlite Industries dropped 1.3% while Hindalco and Tata Steel declined 0.5% and 1% respectively.
In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 2.5:1 in a volume of 130 million shares.