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Markets choppy; banks drop, R-Com gains

Markets choppy; banks drop, R-Com gains
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First Published: Tue, Dec 27 2011. 11 48 AM IST

Updated: Tue, Dec 27 2011. 11 48 AM IST
New Delhi: Shares seesawed on Tuesday as investors turned wary about building positions before the quarter ends, while lenders HDFC Bank and State Bank of India fell on concerns about earnings outlook.
At 11:00 am, the main 30-share BSE index was up 0.3% at 16,018.66, with 19 of its components in the green, after falling 0.3% at one stage.
Mobile operator Reliance Communications gained 4.5% after telecom commission accepted the sector regulator’s recommendation on mergers & acquisitions rules by and large.
Top mobile operator Bharti Airtel and smaller rival Idea Cellular were little changed.
“The market is circumspect and no one really wants to take a bet,” said Deven Choksey, managing director of brokerage K.R. Choksey.
With many money managers at foreign funds on holiday before the year ends, there was little steam to sustain the market’s 1.5% rise on Monday, he said.
Arun Kejriwal, strategist at research firm KRIS, said the previous day’s rally was on relatively lighter volume and the market needed policy initiatives by the government to boost flagging growth.
Parliament will begin to debate an anti-graft bill on Tuesday as Gandhian activist Anna Hazare renews his anti-corruption protest in Mumbai to press for the early passage of a tough law.
Hazare’s movement has kept Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the ropes through the year, impacting the pace of economic reform in Asia’s third largest economy as it battles high inflation and slowing economic growth.
“There is resentment among people against corruption. But markets are unlikely to be impacted as long as the protest remains peaceful,” said Kejriwal.
Lenders were among the top losers as the BSE bank index fell about 0.6%. State Bank of India, the country top lender, shed 0.5% while private-sector HDFC Bank shed 1%.
There are concerns about asset quality of banks as borrowers face difficulty to repay loans following sharp increases in interest rates and slowing economic growth.
Mobile operators Reliance Communications gained 4.5% after India’s telecom commission accepted the sector regulator’s recommendation on mergers & acquisitions rules by and large.
Top mobile operator Bharti Airtel and smaller rival Idea Cellular were little changed.
Tata Consultancy Services dropped 0.3% as gloom continued over European markets, which contribute a significant chunk of revenue to India’s showcase $76-billion software services sector.
The 50-share NSE index was up 0.34% at 4,795.60. In the broader market, there were about two gainers for every loser, on volume of 100 million shares.
The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was trading down 0.31%.
Stocks on the move
• Bharti Shipyard rose as much as 7.7% after the company said late on Monday that its board had approved a proposal to restructure Rs2,854 crore worth of debt.
• Apollo Hospitals rose 3.4% after a newspaper report that an arm of Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd has converted global depositary receipts (GDRs) worth Rs213 crore into equity shares in the Indian hospital chain.
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First Published: Tue, Dec 27 2011. 11 48 AM IST
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