Mumbai: Shares extended losses to 1% on Monday, on the back of weak world stocks and after industrial output grew at a slower-than-expected pace in February.
At 2:08pm, the 30-share BSE index was down 0.91% at 19,274.66 points, with 22 components declining. It fell as much as 1% earlier. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.9% at 5,788.75.
Industrial output rose 3.6% in February from a year earlier, picking up pace from the previous month on higher exports.
At 9:54am, the 30-share BSE index was down 0.27% at 19,398.19 points, with 22 components declining. It is down 5.4% year-to-date. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.3% at 5,823.85.
In the broader market, gainers and losers were almost equal in number, while 46 million shares changed hands on the BSE.
“The macro issues are still around. Crude is still substantially high and in turn is adding to fuel inflation,” said Neeraj Dewan, director of Quantum Securities in New Delhi.
Widening unrest in the Middle East and a weakening dollar lent new impetus to a rally in oil markets with Brent crude briefly hitting $127 before pulling back slightly on prospects of a peace deal in Libya.
“There is some profit booking. But the only good news is FIIs are not selling. So, there is some support there,” he said referring to foreign institutional investors.
The benchmark index had risen 9.1% in March, fuelled by robust foreign fund inflows as they placed their bets on India’s strong economic growth story.
Foreigners have poured more than $3 billion into equities after being net sellers in the first two months of 2011.
Financials traded in the red on concerns the central bank will raise rates again to rein in inflation.
Leading lenders State Bank of India , ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were down between 0.2% and 1.9% respectively.
Cigarette-to-hotels business ITC was up 1.4% on the back of strong domestic consumption story.
The MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was up 0.1% while Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.5%.