Mumbai: India’s benchmark index declined for the first time in three days on Thursday, led by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), after a government official’s comments increased concerns that the economic slowdown will be prolonged.
Stimulus plans will need to extend into the fiscal year starting 1 April and spending will be increased on projects, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, said on Wednesday. Steel makers gained on the expectations that demand for metal may rebound as customers use up inventories.
“Concerns about the effectiveness of steps being taken by the government to revive demand continue to weigh on the market,” said R.K. Gupta, who manages the equivalent of about $100 million (nearly Rs490 crore) of stocks at Taurus Mutual Fund in New Delhi. “Massive job cuts and falling tax collections point to a prolonged slowdown.”
The Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) Sensex fell 110.97 points, or 1.2%, to 9,090.88. The S&P CNX Nifty index on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) declined 23 points, or 0.8%, to 2,780.05. The BSE-200 index lost 9.56 points, or 0.9%, to 1,068.83.
RIL fell 1.4% to Rs1,288.80. Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd shed 3.5% to Rs1,387.90. The share prices are composite of BSE and NSE rates.
Tata Steel Ltd and JSW Steel Ltd climbed on expectations that demand for the metal may rebound. ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel maker, said on Wednesday that consumption may rebound by the end of the first quarter as customers use up inventories.
Tata Steel gained 1.3% to Rs181.80. JSW added 2% to Rs195.35 and Sesa Goa Ltd climbed 4.5% to Rs91.05.
ACC Ltd rose Rs1.35, or 0.3%, to Rs532.40 after the company reported full-year profit fell 23% from a year earlier. Net income dropped to Rs1,100 crore in the year ended 31 December from Rs1,430 crore a year earlier, the Mumbai-based company said in a statement to BSE.
Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd fell Rs16.30, or 5.8%, to Rs263. Asarco Llc. is close to signing a contract to sell itself to India’s largest copper producer, potentially ending the copper miner’s four-year-old bankruptcy, two people involved in the negotiations said on Wednesday.
UTV Software Communications Ltd fell Rs13.95, or 5.7%, to Rs230.35. The stock dropped to the lowest in two months after its founders pledged a 23% stake, or almost their entire holding.