Markets recover from day’s losses to end flat

Markets recover from day’s losses to end flat

Mumbai: Indian shares snapped a six-session losing streak on Thursday as global markets rebounded, but trading was choppy and volume light due to the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts.

The 30-share BSE index ended up 0.1%, or 17.05 points, at 16,306.87 after rising as much as 1.4% during trade. Only 12 of its components closed in the green.

Tata Steel rose 4.8% to Rs585.55, after the world’s No.8 steelmaker by output, glided past forecasts with quarterly profit more than doubling at its Indian operations on strong demand from the auto and construction sectors.

The benchmark index had shed 7.7% over six previous sessions and traders said the correction may be over.

“I don’t think there can be any steep downside from here. It looks like there is enough headroom for the market to rise," said Deven Choksey, managing director and CEO of KR Choksey Shares.

He said the market had come off the day’s high due to the last day of monthly derivative contracts on the National Stock Exchange.

Global markets rallied as US President Barack Obama focused on job creation rather than any concrete details of banking reforms which have spooked financial markets in recent times.

Annual food price inflation in Asia’s third-largest economy accelerated for the first time in four weeks, with the central bank looking set to tighten its policy on Friday to prevent it spilling over to the broader economy.

Most economists in a Reuters poll last week expected rates would be kept unchanged but saw a 50-basis point rise in banks’ cash reserve ratio, the proportion of deposits lenders must keep with the central bank in cash.

Financial stocks were mixed. Top lender State Bank of India rose 0.8% and Housing Development Finance Corp climbed 1.8%, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank dropped 0.2% and 0.1% respectively.

Energy giant Reliance Industries, which has the highest weighting on the main index, gained 1.1% to Rs1,037.40, but is down 4.8% in 2010.

Top listed property firm DLF rose 2.4% to Rs324.55, after its December quarter consolidated net profit rose from the three months to September, suggesting a recovery in the sector was gaining momentum.

Wipro climbed 2.8% to Rs672.95 after the No. 3 software-services said late on Wednesday it signed a multi-year outsourcing deal with British American Tobacco Plc.

In the broader market, losers outpaced gainers in a ratio of 1.5:1 on volume of 374 million shares, much lower than last week’s daily average of 534.4 million shares.

The 50-share NSE index closed 0.3% higher at 4,867.25.