Mumbai: Indian shares fell for a sixth consecutive session on Friday to their lowest close in four months as blue chips such as State Bank of India (SBI) continued to reel from concerns about political instability and doubts over the prospect of future rate cuts.
Falls also tracked Asian shares which hovered near their lowest in nearly three months as Cyprus scrambled to avoid a meltdown of its banking system and a possible exit from the euro zone.
The central bank’s cautious stance on future rate cuts and the withdrawal of a key ally in the ruling coalition have left investors concerned about economic growth and the prospect of additional fiscal reforms, with benchmark indexes now hovering close to breaking their 200-day moving averages.
“Stocks may start looking attractive if more falls come, but political instability and developments overseas like Cyprus do not help” said Paras Adenwala, managing director and principal portfolio manager, Capital Portfolio Advisors.
Political developments have made the situation very hostile, with every rise used as a selling opportunity, added Adenwala.
The benchmark BSE index, Sensex, fell 0.3%, or 57.27 points, to end at 18,735.60.
The index fell 3.6% for the week, marking a second week of losses. The broader NSE index, the Nifty, fell 0.13%, or 7.40 points, to end at 5,651.35, falling for a sixth day, and marking its biggest losing streak since seven sessions of falls ending 19 November, 2012. The Nifty also fell 3.8% for the week, marking its biggest weekly loss since 18 December, 2011.
ICICI Bank Ltd fell 0.66%, while State Bank of India ended 1.71% lower on fears the Reserve Bank of India may not ease interest rates in May after it issued a cautious statement on monetary policy on Tuesday, dealers said.
Dealers added that risk aversion is also weighing on blue chips like Tata Motors Ltd, which fell 1.22% after earlier rising as much as 1.7% even as unit Jaguar
Land Rover Ltd (JLR) said on Thursday it did not expect sales in China to be hurt by the new fuel standard norms.
Shares in India’s Oracle Financial Services Software Ltd fell 4.12%, tracking a slump in parent company Oracle Corp. on Thursday after the US software maker’s third-quarter revenue fell far short of expectations.
Shares of other information technology companies were also under selling pressure on weak market sentiment. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd dropped 1.27%, while Infosys Ltd shares closed down 0.55%. Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd fell 0.90% after Bank of America-Merill Lynch replaced it with Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd in its model portfolio. Sun Pharma’s shares also ended 1.42% lower. However, defensive stocks rose in a volatile market with ITC Ltd ending 0.08% higher, marking a weekly gain of 1.2%. Reuters