Mumbai: Indian shares extended their fall to more than 1% on Friday afternoon, as banks fell after annual inflation rose a higher-than-expected 0.7% on 25 April.
At 12:26pm, the 30-share BSE index was down 1.3% at 11,960.37 points, with 25 stocks declining. The 50-share NSE index was down 1% at 3,646.60.
Markets flip-flopped in the morning as political uncertainties ahead of general election results next week kept investors skittish, after the market had jumped more than half from its low in March.
HDFC Bank fell on heavy volume of more than 12 million shares after the Economic Times said DBS Group, Southeast Asia’s biggest bank, was expected to sell its 2.7% stake in the Indian lender.
Top mortgage firm Housing Development Finance Corp and metal firm Sterlite Industries fell as investors took profits after their rally in the previous session.
But state-run explorer ONGC and outsourcer Infosys Technologies rose and helped the steady the main index.
By 10:54am, the 30-share BSE index was down 0.2 % at 12,091.41 points, with advancers and losers evenly matched. It had risen as much as 0.5% earlier. The 50-share NSE index was flat at 3,683.50 points.
The benchmark, which is on track to post its ninth weekly rise, could face a significant fall if month-long general elections produce a fractured mandate when results are announced on 16 May, analysts said.
“Till the election results come out, there are no major decisions going to be taken, especially by the large institutional investors,” S Ranganathan, head of research at LKP Shares, said. “They will just wait and watch.”
Investors are also awaiting inflation data, expected at around midday (0630 GMT), which is forecast to have risen for the third consecutive week in late April, because of a sustained increase in food, mineral and manufacturing prices.
Private-sector lender HDFC Bank shed 4.2% to Rs1,127, while Housing Development Finance dropped 0.9% to Rs1,800.
Sterlite fell 2.8% to Rs502.80, after jumping 13.8% on Thursday.
No. 2 IT-services firm Infosys edged up 0.4% to Rs1,561.10, while ONGC gained 2% to Rs907.65.
In the broader section, gainers led losers almost 2 to 1 on relatively moderate volume of 125.3 million shares.