Mumbai: Indian shares shed 0.1% on Wednesday, dropping for a second consecutive day on shaky global equities. Energy majors Oil & Natural Gas Corp and Reliance Industries led the fall.
Reports of bank lending restrictions in China hurt world equities. Asian markets closed in the red while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was trading 0.6% lower.
Authorities in India seem more focused on whether to tighten monetary policy to rein in inflation at the risk of hurting an incipient recovery, ahead of the central bank’s scheduled policy review on 29 January.
The 30-share BSE index eased 0.07%, or 11.57 points, to 17,474.49, its lowest close in over a week. Seventeen of its components declined.
“Stocks will stay in the consolidation mode for now. Investors will churn their portfolio, depending on the earnings,” said Vaibhav Sanghavi, director of Ambit Capital.
No. 3 outsourcer Wipro Ltd underscored the sector’s recovery with an upbeat outlook and forecast-beating quarterly profit, as a global recovery boosts demand from key financial clients.
But its shares, valued at about $24 billion, closed down 1.6% at Rs725.40 after initially rising 2.1% to Rs753, its highest level since April 2000.
Bigger rivals Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Technologies had last week beaten expectations and forecast an improving outlook for the sector.
“Wipro had run up a lot in recent times. Also, after decent numbers from Infosys and TCS, people had already factored in good results from Wipro,” said Neeraj Dewan, director of Quantum securities.
The stock had nearly tripled in 2009.
State-run Oil & Natural Gas Corp, the country’s largest oil producer, extended losses for the fourth day and closed 2.9% lower at Rs1,163.05.
“Lack of clarity over subsidy sharing and deregulation of fuel prices, has been weighing on the stock,” said Sanghavi.
Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight on the main index, dropped 0.7% to Rs1,077.75.
Beaten down telecom stocks climbed on expectations mobile operators may fare better than muted street estimates, although a vicious call tariff war is squeezing margins for the industry, dealers said.
Top mobile operator Bharti Airtel climbed 3.4% to Rs330.90, while rival Reliance Communications rose 0.2% to Rs186.85.
Housing Development Finance Corp climbed 0.6% to Rs2,524.10, as the mortgage lender said its December quarter net profit rose 23%.
In the broader market, losers outpaced gainers in a ratio of 1.4:1 on volume of 528 million shares, much lower than last week’s daily average of 651 million shares.
The 50-share NSE index dropped 0.1% to 5,221.70.