Mumbai: Indian shares extended losses to more than 1% on Thursday, as investors booked profits in automakers such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki after a recent rally.
At 2:32pm, the 30-share BSE index was down 1% at 15,745.80 points, with 25 stocks declining, after falling to as much as 15,710.60.
The 50-share NSE index was down 0.9% at 4,651.80.
Markets had erased losses of as much as 0.9% and turned positive in the afternoon as a higher start for European markets lifted investor sentiment.
At 1:04pm, the 30-share BSE index was up 0.1% at 15,918.44 points, with 13 stocks gaining, after falling to as much as 15,763.37 earlier. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.2% at 4,703.05.
Shares today morning fell 0.6%, tracking losses overnight on Wall Street as downbeat US data cast a shadow over recent economic optimism and weighed on investor confidence.
Energy giant Reliance Industries fell 0.6% to Rs2,063, while state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp retreated 0.9% to Rs1,181.15 as oil eased towards $71.
Other major losers included diversified cigarette maker ITC, which slid 1.3% to Rs240.55, and No. 2 outsourcer Infosys Technologies that eased 1.1% to Rs2,071.80.
Bharti Airtel, which is in exclusive talks with South Africa’s MTN aimed at a merger to create the world’s third-biggest telecoms firm, dropped 0.8% to Rs398.10.
“Overall trading interest in large-cap companies is low today,” Hemant Thukral, vice president at Asian Markets Securities, said.
“The market is in consolidation mode today.”
The benchmark had risen 0.5% on Wednesday, climbing back from an initial fall as higher European peers lifted sentiment after investor caution across Asia had weighed on the market.
The Indian market had rallied over the previous three weeks, driven by strong domestic and global corporate earnings. But worries that stocks are pricey have emerged as the main index has leapt almost 98% from a 2009 low in March and 65% this year.
This year, only China’s and Indonesia’s benchmarks have outperformed the BSE index, which trades at 17.8 times one-year forward earnings.
In contrast, benchmarks in other emerging markets such as Brazil, Indonesia and South Korea trade at a multiple of about 13-14, while Russia trades at 7.8 times.
In the broader Indian market on Thursday, gainers led losers 1,314 to 962 on heavy volume of 174.5 million shares.