Markets end flat; software firms gain

Markets end flat; software firms gain

Mumbai: Indian shares erased early losses to close almost flat on Wednesday, in a volatile trading session a day ahead of monthly derivatives contracts expiry on the National Stock Exchange, with euro zone concerns also weighing.

Export-focused software firms such as Infosys Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services gained 1.1% and 0.9% respectively on improving visibility over order inflows.

The 30-share BSE Index closed 0.04% or 6.25 points higher at 17,755.94, with two-thirds of its components closing in the green. It fell as much as 0.7% in the day. The 50-share NSE index closed 0.1% higher at 5,323.15 points.

“There is no conviction in the market. Europe’s troubles reappeared and hit world markets and we do not know what comes next from that continent," said Vaibhav Sanghavi, director of Ambit Capital.

French bank Credit Agricole on Tuesday pushed back profit targets for its struggling Greek unit Emporiki and said it would take a 400-million euro write-down as Greece fights its debt load.

Sanghavi said global investors were eyeing the G-20 summit this weekend in Canada for more directional cues.

Leaders of the Group of 20 nations will meet in Toronto to discuss the course of the future as the world emerges from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Foreign funds have purchased around $1.4 billion of Indian equities so far this month, driving the index 4.8% higher. They sold $2 billion of Indians stocks last month as euro zone’s debt concerns escalated and dampened risk appetite.

Financials gained on expectations of better demand for loans backed by strong economic growth.

Leading private sector lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank rose nearly 1% and 0.6% respectively.

Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp climbed 0.4%, but top lender State Bank of India bucked the trend and closed 0.2% lower.

Engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro declined 3.1%. The stock is still up 8.4% so far in June.

Reliance Communications, the No.2 mobile operator, rose 0.8% after the Economic Times newspaper reported French media and telecom giant Vivendi is negotiating with the Indian firm to buy a 26% stake, which was later denied by Vivendi.

Engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro declined 3.1%. The stock is still up 8.4% so far in June.

Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries dropped 1.4% as London copper futures edged lower.

Most auto stocks raced ahead of expectations of robust sales for June. Maruti Suzuki and Hero Honda rose 2.8% and 0.9% respectively.

Leading vehicle maker Tata Motors bucked the trend and shed 0.9% as it said its board would meet on June 28 to consider various options to raise long-term capital funds.

In the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers in a ratio of 1.7:1 in a relatively moderate volume of 387 million shares.

At 4:31pm, MSCI’s all-country world index was down 0.4%, while the more volatile emerging markets index declined 0.7%.


Mahindra Satyam jumped 9.9% to Rs93.65 on speculation the Indian software services exporter will post strong revised earnings.

Shoppers Stop extended gains and rose 5.8% to Rs505.30 as the retailer’s chief executive said on Tuesday it may make an announcement on its proposed qualified institutional placement in the next 60 days.

State-run oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp extended Tuesday’s gains and rose between 0.7% and 1.5% after the oil minister said a panel of ministers will meet on Friday to decide on fuel prices.

Weak oil prices also helped these stocks, dealers said.

Hindustan Dorr Oliver rose 1.4% to Rs122.85 after the company late Tuesday said it has signed a pact with Indian unit of SPIG S.p.A of Italy to jointly bid for cooling tower projects.