Mumbai: Indian shares extended losses to 1% on Thursday afternoon as traders booked profits after an early rally to 33-month high.
At 2:32pm, the 30-share BSE index was down 1.05% at 20,467.39 points. In the morning it had risen to 20,854.55, which was its highest since January 2008. The 50-share NSE index was down 1.2% at 6,162.40.
The BSE Sensex was choppy on Thursday after an early rally to 33-month highs triggered profit-taking, but traders said strong foreign interest kept the undertone bullish.
Infosys Technologies, the country’s second-largest outsourcer, raced as much as 2.4% to a record high of Rs3,228 ahead of its quarterly earnings on Friday.
Brokerages are betting the trendsetter for India’s showpiece sector could raise its outlook for dollar revenue growth to 21-24% for this fiscal year from 19-21% forecast in July.
Wipro, the No. 3 outsourcer, rose as much as 1.9% to Rs492, its highest level in a decade. On Wednesday, smaller rival IGate Corp posted strong quarterly results.
At 10:57am, the 30-share BSE index was up 0.09% at 20,706.82 points, with half of its components advancing. It had hit 20,854.55 early, its highest since January 2008. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.1% at 6,237.90.
”There is some profit booking taking place after the sharp run up we saw,” said Deven Choksey, managing director and CEO of KR Choksey Shares, who expects the Sensex to reach an all-time high in the next few sessions.
The benchmark is about 500 points away from the record 21,206.77 set on 10 January, 2008.
Net foreign fund investment in Indian shares in 2010, including a flood of primary market offerings, has totalled $21.8 billion and the index is up 18.6% in the year to date.
Metal producers extended gains, after base metal prices continued their rally in London, New York and Shanghai, helped by losses in the dollar and a surge across commodity markets.
Tata Steel, the world’s seventh-largest producer of the alloy, rose 2.4%. Non-ferrous metal maker Sterlite Industries firmed 0.4%.
In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.1:1 on volume of 184 million shares.
Elsewhere, the MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was up 1.4%, while Japan’s Nikkei rallied 2%.
StOCKS ON THE MOVE
Road builder Ashoka Buildcon extended gains to Rs343.20 after listing up 4.9% at 340, compared with the issue price of 324.
Bedmutha Industries, a steel wire manufacturer in western India, started up 14.2% at Rs116.45 from its issue price of 102, and was trading at 113.40.