Mumbai: Shares on Wednesday edged lower tracking weak Asian peers, but losses were limited as investors cheered better-than-expected earnings from Tata Motors, which soared to at least a 20-year high.
Tata Motors, which produces the ultra-cheap car Nano, rose as much as 6.4% to Rs1,019.90, after announcing late Tuesday its fourth straight quarterly profit driven by demand for its luxury Jaguar and Land Rover brands.
Edelweiss raised Tata Motors to “buy” from “reduce”, while Citi Investments Research raised the target price on the stock to Rs1,197 from Rs947 per share.
By 11:54 am, the BSE 30-share index Sensex was trading down 72.16 points at 18,147.83 points, with 19 of its components declining.
Elsewhere in the region, the MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was down 1.1% while Japan’s Nikkei shed 2.5%.
“Tata Motors is supporting the market. Some investors might prefer the stock over its other peers in the pack, considering the better earnings visibility and turnaround,” said Kunal Sukhani, manager of institutional equities at Asian Markets Securities, who expects rangebound trade in the day.
Shares in Bharti Airtel fluctuated after the top mobile operator reported a 32% fall in quarterly profit, including its African operations which it acquired in June in a $9 billion deal.
The stock was down 0.5%, but had risen as much as 3.5% to Rs335.60, its highest since January.
Cigarette-to-hotel business ITC was down 1.3% after the recent rise in the stock. The stock is still up 0.6% so far in August.
Energy giant Reliance Industries was down 0.4%, as dealers remained worried about the delay in the ramp up of its gas production. In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.2:1 in a volume of 151 million shares.
The NSE 50-share index Nifty was down 19.55 points at 5,441.15 points.