Mumbai: Indian shares were trading down 0.3% on Thursday as profit-taking gathered momentum after the market had rallied nearly 11% this month.
Traders said a weak close in European and US markets on Wednesday weighed. Trade across Asia was thin with Japan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea closed for a holiday.
At 10:48am, the 30-share BSE index was down 0.3% at 19,877.90 points, with 21 of its components declining. It had started higher.
“There could be some consolidation happening before we start moving up again,” said Vaibhav Sanghavi, director at Ambit Capital.
After climbing 20,000 points on Tuesday for the first time in 32 months, the benchmark had eased 0.3% in the previous session as profit-taking emerged.
“There is no reason to believe the liquidity flow from overseas will go off in near future. India continues to remain the prefered destination,” Sanghavi said.
Foreigners have moved more than $4 billion into stocks this month, taking the net inflow so far in 2010 to nearly $17 billion.
Export-focused outsourcers dropped after the recent rally in the pack. The sector index eased 0.6% but is up nearly 14% this year.
Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Technologies, the country’s two leading software services firms, were down 0.4% and 0.6% respectively. Wipro shed 0.8%.
Energy major Reliance Industries, which weighs the most on the Sensex, was down 0.8% as there were no immediate positive triggers in sight, dealers said.
Ranbaxy Laboratories firmed 2.4% after the Mint newspaper reported the drugmaker has won a court battle to sell its copy of US-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s anti-hepatitis B drug, baraclude.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp was up 1.5% after state-run explorer said it had begun shale gas exploration by drilling the first well in eastern India.
In the broader market, gainers were almost equal to the number of losers on volume of 156 million shares.
The 50-share NSE index was down 0.4% to 5,966.35 points.
Mahindra Satyam extended gains and rose as much 5.7% ahead of the firm’s audited financial results review for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 on 29 September. The stock was trading 3.2% higher at Rs111.05. Parent Tech Mahindra was up 2.5% at Rs806.80.
Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries rose 1.2% to Rs174.90 as copper prices in London and New York rose to around the highest level in five months as the dollar sank and demand prospects brightened.