Mumbai: Indian shares fell for a seventh session on Friday to the lowest close this year as India’s biggest utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and cement makers Ambuja Cements Ltd and ACC Ltd retreated after their earnings missed estimates.
During the week, the BSE fell 1.5% and NSE lost 1.6%, posting their biggest weekly losses since 1 September, as the government’s weaker-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast of 5% on Thursday disappointed the market.
However, inflation and industrial output data are the next key tests for the market, after the Reserve Bank of India disappointed investors on 29 January. Earnings of blue-chip companies such as Tata Motors Ltd and State Bank of India will also be key for further direction.
“The pressure of fiscal deficit and inflation is still persisting. Falling GDP growth to sub-5 levels is also causing lots of concerns,” said K. K. Mital, head of portfolio management at Globe Capital.
The 30-share benchmark BSE index. Sensex, fell 0.49%, or 95.55 points, to end at 19,484.77, its lowest close since 31 December. The index fell for a seventh day to mark its biggest losing streak since November 2011. The 50-share NSE index, the Nifty, fell 0.59%, or 35.30 points, to end at 5,903.50, after falling below key 5,900 levels intraday.
The MCX-SX stock exchange will launch equities trading on Monday. Volumes will be watched, given its history of competition with the National Stock Exchange.
Mahindra and Mahindra shares ended 1.41% lower after the company reported a 26% increase in its quarterly profit, which lagged street estimates, as a slide in its operating margin offset strong sports utility vehicles sales growth.
Shares in cement companies fell after their October-December earnings failed to impress the markets. ACC ended 3.04% lower, while Ambuja Cements lost 5.10%. Hindalco Industries Ltd, part of the Aditya Birla group, fell 3.18% after reporting a 3.8% fall in its October-December net profit at Rs.434 crore that had a higher share of other income.
However, broader losses in Indices were offset by gains in software services exporters such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, which rose 2.58%, and Wipro Ltd which ended 1.57% higher after Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp.’s quarterly profit modestly beat estimates.
The results confirm that revenues of Indian software services exporters continue to outperform Cognizant’s, making the US-listed information technology company still not too much of a competitive threat.