Mumbai: Indian shares dropped 0.3% on Tuesday, mirroring weak global markets, with Reliance Industries and Tata Motors leading the decline.
The 30-share BSE index closed 0.29% or 50.06 points lower at 17,052.54, after testing six-month closing highs in the previous session. Nineteen of its components lost ground.
“People are a bit cautious now,” said Deven Choksey, managing director and CEO of KR Choksey Shares, a Mumbai-based brokerage.
World stocks inched lower from the previous day’s six-week high as investors grew cautious after a recent rally in riskier assets.
The main BSE index is still up 4.9% since the federal budget announcement on 26 February, which pushed for fiscal consolidation and left higher consumption power in the hands of individuals. The 50-share NSE index declined 0.4% to 5,101.50.
“They (investors) are waiting for the advance tax figures before they take the plunge,” Choksey said referring to the corporate advance tax figures for the March quarter which may trickle in next week.
“But, things are looking good as fourth-quarter earnings are likely to be buoyant,” he added.
Foreign funds have poured in around $1.4 billion in the five sessions to 5 March, latest data showed.
Tata Motors closed 3.2% lower at Rs770.90, as German carmaker Daimler sold all of its 5.34% stake in India’s top vehicle maker to various groups of investors.
The stock had declined as much as 5.9% earlier in the day.
“Daimler’s decision was a strategic one and does not impact Tata Motors in any way,” said Choksey.
“They just held a minority stake and it made sense to exit that.”
Energy giant Reliance Industries, which has the highest weight on the main index, declined 1.5% to Rs990.20.
LyondellBasell filed a restructuring plan on Monday, rejecting a takeover bid from Reliance Industries in favour of commitments from investors, including Apollo Management LP and Access Industries, to help the chemicals maker exit bankruptcy.
Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries declined 1.1% as copper prices edged lower.
Aluminium maker Hindalco and Tata Steel, the world’s eighth-largest steel maker by output, shed 2.6% and 1.3% respectively.
Export-oriented outsourcers led the gainers on good business momentum, analysts said.
Sector leader Tata Consultancy Services gained 1.1%, while rivals Infosys Technologies and Wipro rose 0.9% and 0.5% respectively.
Late on Monday, Wipro Infotech, a unit of Wipro said it had received a turnkey project to set up a financial intelligence network for the finance ministry.
In the broader market, decliners outnumbered gainers in the ratio of 1.7:1 on a volume of 454 million shares.