Mumbai: Indian shares fell more than 1% on Friday as investors turned wary ahead of the weekend after a two-day rise, with a drop in regional markets and Wall Street’s fall overnight adding to the downtrend.
Worries about the slowdown in the Indian economy and the clouded political outlook ahead of elections in April and May also weighed on investor confidence, traders said.
Top energy firm Reliance Industries and lenders ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and State Bank of India pulled the benchmark index down.
Metal producers Tata Steel, Hindalco Industries and Sterlite Industries bucked the trend and rose on hopes for higher metal prices.
By 11:07am, the 30-share BSE index was down 0.88% at 8,922.41 points, with 22 stocks declining, after falling as much as 1.2%. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.7% at 2,788.45.
The benchmark had risen almost 8% over the past five trading sessions, but is down about 7% this year.
“In a bear market rally, there are swift changes in sentiment. The rally was just a temporary phenomenon,” Saif Shaikh, a dealer at brokerage Way2Wealth, said.
Reliance Industries, which had jumped 12% over the previous five sessions, fell 0.6% to Rs1,337 on profit taking.
ICICI Bank shed 2.9% to Rs328.35, while rival HDFC Bank was down 0.8% at Rs823.80. Government-run State Bank of India fell 1.7% to Rs951.80.
Tata Steel and Sterlite rose about 2% each, while Hindalco climbed more than 4%.
In the broader section, losers marginally led advancers 901 to 840, on relatively light volume of 69.7 million shares.
Asian shares were lower, with MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan down 0.9%. Japan was closed for a holiday.