Markets flat; Infosys down, Reliance recovers

Markets flat; Infosys down, Reliance recovers

Mumbai: Indian shares were flat in early afternoon trade after a choppy session on Monday amid muted cues from Asian markets and lack of buying interest into the end of year as foreign funds wind down their activity.

IT major Infosys Technologies dropped 0.8% as traders booked profits, after the recent rally. The stock is still up 5.1% in the month.

Top mobile operator Bharti Airtel declined 1.3%, hurt by tariff wars and growing competition in the sector.

Energy giant Reliance Industries recovered and was up 1% after declining 2% in early deals.

“There is a technical bounceback in Reliance. There was strong support for the stock at around 990 rupees," said Kunal Sukhani, manager of institutional equities at Asian Markets Securities.

The stock has underperformed in December, on the back of uncertainty over its bid for LyondellBasell and its court case with Reliance Natural Resources. It is down 4% this month, while the main index has shed 1.3%.

At 12:47pm, the 30-share BSE Index was up 0.01% at 16,721.33, with 16 components advancing. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.1% at 4,980.60.

“Market had to consolidate. There’s nothing big to worry. People are concerned about the likely interest rate hike after the inflation figures," said Neeraj Dewan, director of Quantum Securities.

“Global markets are also not going anywhere," he added.

Bank stocks rose after losing ground last week. The sector index was up 0.3%, but still down 4.7% this month.

Leading lender State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were up 0.3% each.

In the broader market, gainers outpaced losers in the ratio of 1.5:1 in a volume of 170 million shares.