Mumbai: Indian shares were trading 0.2% lower on Thursday ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts and subdued cues from Asian markets.
Energy major Reliance Industries dropped 0.5% after sliding 3.1% in the previous session, and traders said they were cautious of the near-term trend.
“A lot of short positions are being rolled over in Reliance Industries, indicating a bearish outlook,” said Kunal Sukhani, manager of institutional equities at Asian Markets Securities.
The stock, which has the heaviest weight on the main BSE index, has come under pressure following a delay in the company’s plan to reach full gas output from its field off India’s east coast.
The oil secretary said late on Wednesday Reliance would be able to pump natural gas at full capacity from its deep-sea field during the year to March 2013, indicating a delay of almost two years.
By 11:09am, the 30-share BSE index was trading down 0.2% at 17,921.28 points, with 19 of its components declining. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.2% at 5,387.25.
“Market is volatile because of derivatives expiry,” said Sukhani, referring to the monthly contracts on the National Stock Exchange.
DLF dropped 1.4% after the largest listed property developer’s 3.8% rise in quarterly profit failed to cheer investors.
Param Desai, a research analyst with Angel Broking, said the profit was tad below expectation as interest and depreciation costs weighed.
Financials were mixed as near-term monetary tightening fears weighed, but the demand for loan outlook was seen higher on the back of robust economic growth.
A Reuters poll showed the Reserve Bank was likely to raise rates more aggressively in the rest of the fiscal year, after tightening policy more than expected on Tuesday.
Top lender State Bank of India dropped 1.2% while rivals ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were up 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.
Foreign funds have invested $9.2 billion in Indian equities so far this year and has helped the benchmark index gain 2.6% in the period.
In the broader market, gainers and losers were almost equal in number on volume of 113 million shares.
Elsewhere, the MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was barely changed while Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.7%.
HCL Technologies was up 2.8% at Rs383.25 after the software services firm said quarterly net income rose marginally as demand for outsourcing increased.
Hexaware Technologies dropped 1.5% to Rs83.40 as its April-June net profit slumped 63.5%.