Mumbai: Indian shares flip-flopped on Thursday as weak Asian markets prompted investors to pause after the main index had rallied more than 5% over six sessions.
Traders said the market was facing resistance after its longest winning streak in nine months. Although foreign fund investments have picked up on the back of robust factory output data, double-digit inflation was a concern.
“The pain due to Europe’s troubles seems to be priced in. A steep downside from here doesn’t look likely right now. That said, we are not going to rise very fast either,” said R. Ganesh, director of Systematix Shares.
By 11:28am, the 30-share BSE index was trading down 0.05% at 17,454.78 points, with 19 of its components declining. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.2% at 5,225.35.
Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight on the Sensex, rose 1.1%.
The energy major may foray into the healthcare sector by buying a 26% stake in hospital chain Fortis Healthcare, the Financial Express reported.
Fortis, which last week unveiled plans to raise as much as $1.2 billion, is positioning itself for a possible battle with Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah for Singapore’s Parkway Holdings.
Shares in Fortis were up 2.4% at Rs155.95.
Top outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services dropped 0.6%, while rivals Infosys and Wipro shed 0.9% each.
State-run explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corp was up 1.1% after the Hindustan Times reported a panel of ministers to look into freeing of fuel prices could meet next week.
Foreign funds have been net buyers of Indian equities four sessions to Tuesday, taking their investment so far in June to nearly $588 million. In May, the funds had dumped $2 billion of stocks in the wake of the euro zone fiscal troubles.
In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.3:1 on volume of 140 million shares.
Non-ferrous metals maker Sterlite Industries dropped 0.7% to Rs684.60 as London copper futures fell 1.8%.
Cairn India shed 0.6% to Rs306.60, as crude oil prices declined towards $77 per barrel.