Mumbai: Indian shares turned positive in afternoon trade on Wednesday after losses in overseas markets had pulled them down more than 3%, as buoyant market sentiment saw investors cover intra-day short positions.
By 2.02pm, the 30-share BSE Index was up 0.18% at 10,553.40 points, with 17 components gaining. It had been down 3.4% earlier and the 50-share NSE Nifty was up 0.6% at 3,276.10 points.
Sensex fell more than 3% in the morning, unwinding some of their strong recent gains on heavy losses in overseas markets as worries resurfaced about the health of corporate earnings.
Reliance Industries, which has the largest weighting in the main index, was down nearly 3% and leading mobile operator Bharti Airtel was down nearly 5%.
Asian stocks slid for a second day, with investors fleeing to the sidelines to await companies’ business outlooks. Banks, automakers and technology companies were the main targets of selling.
“After that long rally we saw last week, there will be some profit-taking. Definitely global sentiments are having an impact,” said Gaurav Dua, head of research at brokerage Sharekhan.
“Here earnings expectations are quite low. The street view is a 14-15 percent fall in corporate earnings,” he said.
At 10.44am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading down 3.12% at 10,205.80 points with 26 components losing. The 50-share NSE Index was down 2.84% at 3,164.05 points.
In the broader market, 933 losers led 832 gainers on volume of 116 million shares.
India’s reporting season gets into full swing on 15 April, when second-largest software exporter Infosys Technologies announces March quarter results. Reporting season coincides with the start of national elections, which run until mid-May.
“The ensuing results season and general elections will have a major bearing on investor confidence in the short term,” brokerage Indian Infoline said in a note.
Ahead of the release of auto sales for March, most auto stocks were down. Leading carmaker Maruti Suzuki was down 0.6% at Rs794.30, and top utility maker Mahindra and Mahindra fell 4.3% to Rs445.60.
Tata Motors, the country’s leading vehicle maker, was flat.