Noon: Markets turn negative; tech, banks fall

Noon: Markets turn negative; tech, banks fall

Mumbai: Indian shares turned negative on Wednesday, after having been up 0.6 percent earlier, with outsourcers and bank stocks leading the downturn.

At 12.09pm, the 50-share BSE Index was trading down 0.02% at 17,483.35 with 16 components losing ground.

The 50-share NSE Index was down 0.10% at 5,220.30 points.

Markets were trading 0.3% higher in the morning, as mostly better-than-expected December quarter earnings kept sentiment upbeat, with Wipro hitting decade highs as quarterly results beat forecast.

The country’s No. 3 software outsourcing firm Wipro posted a 19-percent rise in December quarter profit and projected growth as a global economic recovery boosts demand for outsourcing services and eases pressure on fees.

Shares in Wipro rose as much as 2.1% to Rs753, its highest level since April 2000.

The stock erased early gains and drifted 0.7% lower at Rs732, as the higher earnings were already factored in, dealers said.

“IT stocks have already run up a lot after Infosys’ results. Good earnings were already factored in prices after that," said Manish Sonthalia, fund manager of portfolio management services at brokerage Motilal Oswal.

“Also, rupee could appreciate, which is a major risk," he added.

By 10:22am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading up 0.33% at 17,543.51, with 19 of its components gaining. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.3% at 5,241.25.

Top software services firm Tata Consultancy was down 0.7%, while Infosys Technologies climbed 0.5%. Financials led the gainers with top private lender ICICI Bank up 1.4% at Rs875.15.

“We saw margins holding out in case of results from some private banks like HDFC Bank," said Sonthalia. “Credit offtake should pick up from here on. Things seem to be falling into place."

Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp rose 0.9% to Rs2,532, ahead of its December quarter earnings announcement.

Telecom stocks rose on expectations that though they may report muted profits, they may still beat street estimates, dealers said.

Bharti Airtel was up 2.8% at Rs328.80, while Reliance Communications rose 1.6% to Rs189.30.

In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 2.3:1 in a traded volume of 142 million shares.