Markets fall; Tata Motors zooms to record high

Markets fall; Tata Motors zooms to record high

Mumbai: Indian shares shed 0.3% on Wednesday, shrugging off Tata Motors that zoomed to a record high after its quarterly results beat forecasts as weak world peers and a mixed bag of corporate earnings weighed.

Bank of America Merrill-Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and RBS cheered Tata Motors’s earnings and raised their target prices on the vehicle maker.

The 30-share BSE index closed 0.27% or 56.77 points lower at 20,875.71, with 19 of its components declining.

“I believe the market will trade in a narrow range for a while as it digests the recent events," said Sandip Raichura, business head at PINC Money Wealth Management.

“Most key events such as the Fed (US Federal Reserve) meet, earnings -- except for G-20 -- are now over. So, there is no other trigger in sight. Market will resume an uptrend in some time."

Raichura ruled out any big downside as robust foreign fund interest provided a huge boost to the market.

So far in 2010, foreign funds have pumped in $28.3 billion into Indian equities, helping the benchmark index gain 19.5%.

The Sensex has been the best performer among its Bric peers for the year to date, with Brazil’s Bovespa and Russia RTS Index rising 4.5% and 14.3% respectively. China’s Shanghai Composite Index is still down 4.9% since January.

Tata Motors rose as much as 6.3% to Rs1,350 as it posted surging quarterly profit, on demand in India and improved performance by its Jaguar and Land Rover unit.

Bharti Airtel shed 1.8% as the top mobile operator reported a bigger-than-expected 27% drop in quarterly profit after being squeezed by a price war, but said it continued to generate healthy free cashflow.

Hindalco dropped 1.6% after the aluminium producer posted a less-than-expected 26% rise in its quarterly net profit.

Coal India declined 1.1% as an official at the world’s largest coal miner said the state-run firm may miss the current fiscal year’s 460.5 million tonnes production target as it seeks to reduce stocks piled up due to inadequate transport infrastructure.

Advancing shares outpaced declining ones in a ratio of 1.5:1 on a heavy volume of 592 million shares.

The 50-share NSE index dropped 0.4% to 6,275.70 points.

Elsewhere, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 declined 0.3% at 03:15 pm while the MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan shed 0.6%.