Mumbai: Indian shares faltered after starting higher on Friday as Asian shares slipped into the red, with investors cautious ahead of US jobs data and doubts about the world economic recovery.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp bucked the trend and climbed as a recent government move to raise fuel prices and the state-run company’s plan to step up exploration pepped up the stock.
“Domestically our fundamentals are convincing, but global currency fluctuations and economic instability are hurting us,” said Deven Choksey, managing director and CEO of KR Choksey Shares.
By 11:32am, the 30-share BSE index was trading down 0.25% at 17,466.41, with two-thirds of its components in the red.
Foreign portfolio investments are a powerful driver for the market, but any signs of global economic weakness usually tends to reverse the inflow.
The BSE index had risen 4.5% in June, the most in three months, as foreign funds bought more than $2 billion of stocks. In May, the benchmark had fallen 3.5% on the back of an outflow of $2 billion.
Choksey said uncertainty about the global economy would likely keep the market rangebound, and the US jobs report due later in the day would provide direction.
A Reuters poll forecast the US report would show a decline of 110,000 in non-farm payrolls, the first fall this year.
ONGC, the country’s largest oil producer, was up 1% after it said late on Thursday its board had approved joint development of four fields off the country’s western coast.
Tata Motors rose 0.5% on a 49% jump in domestic sales in June, while No. 2 cement producer ACC dropped 0.5% as its June shipments fell 1.7%.
Reliance Communications eased 0.3% on profit-taking after jumping about a third since the end of May.
The No. 2 mobile operator said late on Thursday it had approved a proposal to acquire unlisted cable television services provider Digicable in an all-stock deal, to create Asia’s largest triple play -- digital TV, broadband and voice services -- provider. [ID:nSGE6600JS]
Financials traded in the red as a government cut in fuel subsidies will push up prices and add to pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates more aggressively.
Top lender State Bank of India dropped 0.1% and rivals ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank shed 0.5% and 0.4% respectively.
In the broader market, gainers led losers in the ratio of 1.4:1 while 158 million shares changed hands on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The 50-share NSE index was down 0.3% at 5,236.40.
State-run oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp were up between 1.3 and 1.7%, helped by the recent fuel reforms.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals was up 1.1% at Rs272.65 as the drugmaker said its unit got U.S. FDA nod for adapalene gel used to treat acne.