Mumbai: Indian shares fell on Friday, snapping a four-day winning streak, led by declines in lenders such as ICICI Bank Ltd on profit-taking, after recent steep gains on rate-cut hopes were seen as overdone ahead of the central bank’s annual policy review next week.
Traders said rise of about 6.4% in the benchmark index in the last two weeks as of Thursday’s close, showed the market had already discounted a rate cut and current levels were widely used to lighten up positions ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) policy review on 3 May.
Traders are optimistic that the recent slide in gold and oil prices will help bring the current account deficit down, thereby providing more room for the RBI to cut rates to help stoke gross domestic product growth. They also expect analysts to raise their FY14 earnings estimates.
“Market fell on some profit booking, and it may continue to consolidate ahead of the RBI rate decision,” said Vivek Mahajan, head of research at Aditya Birla Money.
Nifty is expected to move in the range of 5750-5950 ahead of the next trigger which is most likely to be RBI policy, added Mahajan.
The benchmark BSE index fell 0.62%, or 120.13 points, to end at 19,286.72, reverting from the highest close in more than a month on Thursday, while gaining 1.4% for the week.
The broader NSE index declined 0.76%, or 44.85 points, to end at 5,871.45, while gaining 1.5% for the week.
ICICI Bank ended 2.8% down on profit-taking after posting a 21% rise in fourth-quarter net profit, in line with estimates, led by higher loan growth. Other lenders such as State Bank of India fell 1.78% on worries that a rate-cut by the RBI on 3 May was already discounted at current valuations, dealers said.
Siemens Ltd shares fell 3.61% after it said its January-March net profit declined 89.93% to Rs.29.95 crore.
Technology shares, which had slumped after posting disappointing results and outlook, continued their declines after a brief pause on Thursday. Infosys Ltd fell 0.66% and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd ended 2.4% lower.
Consumer goods stocks, ITC Ltd and Hindustan Unilever Ltd fell 0.37% and 2.7%, respectively, on concerns about valuations and volume growth, dealers said.
Jindal Steel and Power Ltd shares fell 4.3% after it said on Thursday its March-quarter consolidated net profit fell 34.88% to Rs.760 crore.
Jindal Steel’s low January-March realizations also had a rub-off on Tata Steel Ltd’s shares which ended 2.46% lower.
However, among stocks that gained, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd rose 5.26% after defying the worst slowdown in 12 years for India’s car market with an 80% rise in fourth-quarter profit, benefiting from robust sales of its Ertiga multi-purpose vehicle and a sharp decline in the yen.
Idea Cellular Ltd rose 5.2% after January-March earnings beat estimates on Thursday due to strong customer additions and a court decision that removed some smaller competitors from the market.
Bharti Airtel Ltd’s shares also gained 4.55% on expectations of better-than-expected earnings for January-March, taking cues from Idea Cellular which beat March quarter earnings estimates. Reuters