Mumbai: Indian shares extended losses to more than 1% in afternoon trade on Tuesday.
At 1:04pm, the 30-share BSE index was down 1.04% at 13,769.09 points, with 20 stocks falling. The benchmark had opened up 0.5%.
The 50-share NSE index was down 1.35% at 4,180.20 points.
Indian shares flip-flopped as short-covering ahead of expiry of monthly derivatives contracts later this week was followed by bouts of profit-taking after an almost three-quarters rally since early March.
Outsourcer Infosys Technologies, which gets most of its revenue from overseas, rose as the rupee dropped for a second day on the back of the dollar’s gains overseas.
Top telecoms firm Bharti Airtel fell for the second day after it said its plan to buy a 49% stake in South Africa’s MTN would initially dilute its earnings.
By 11:28am, the 30-share BSE index was down 0.1% at 13,898.08 points, with 12 stocks declining, after opening up 0.5%. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.4% at 4,219.
“This is a balancing act between the bulls and the bears. The market is waiting for some news to give it a clear-cut direction,” R K Gupta, managing director of Taurus Mutual Fund, said from New Delhi.
“That direction will come only when the government announces the new budget probably next month.”
The benchmark had risen 73% from a 2009 low in early March through Monday, riding a global rally, and boosted by hopes a new stable government will be able to push pro-market reforms.
Leading mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp was among the other major gainers, rising 2.4% to Rs2,138.
Infosys, the country’s No. 2 IT-services firm, advanced 2.5% to Rs1,545, while smaller rival Wipro rose 0.8% to Rs369.50.
Reliance Industries, which has the most weight in the main index, dropped 1.3% to Rs2,166, after almost doubling in value since early March.
Bharti fell 4% to Rs778.65, extending Monday’s 5.4% drop.
In the broader section, gainers led losers by more than 3 to 1 on relatively heavy volume of 315.1 million shares.