Markets drop 0.6%; techs lead decline

Markets drop 0.6%; techs lead decline

Mumbai: Shares shrugged off firm Asian stocks and were down 0.6% on Monday in choppy trade, as worries due to an ongoing corruption probe continued to weigh.

Leading software firms Tata Consultancy, Infosys Technologies and Wipro dropped between 1.5% and 1.7% on profit-taking.

The IT sector index was down 1.3%, after rising 2.8% this month.

By 11:13am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading down 0.6% at 19,391.19 points, with 18 of its components declining. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.7% at 5,816.30.

The benchmark has shed 8% since hitting a near record high in early November due to a probe into sale of telecom licences and radio waves cheaply that a government auditor said cost the authorities about $39 billion in lost revenue.

A bribes-for-loans scandal has also weighed down sentiment.

“We lagged last week on the corruption probe worries. But I believe the market will start looking upwards from hereon," said Vaibhav Sanghavi, director of Ambit Capital.

The BSE index is up more than 11% in the year-to-date and strong economic growth is expected to expected to draw in investors in the coming year.

Factory output in October accelerated to 10.8%, its fastest pace in three months, official data showed on Friday, and the central bank is expected to hold rates at its policy review on Thursday thanks to easing inflation.

Copper prices rose more than 1% in Shanghai, towing London to within a hair of an all-time peak, on positive technical signals and strong data from China over the weekend.

Tata Steel, the world’s seventh-largest steelmaker, climbed 1.3%, while aluminium maker Hindalco rose 0.1%.

State-run oil explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corp was up 0.2% as UBS raised the stock to “buy’ from “neutral", saying higher oil prices and lower royalty could drive stock performance.

Foreign funds have been locking in profits ahead of the year end, but they are still net buyers of $28.7 billion this year.

In the broader market, gainers were nearly double the number of losers on volume of 110 million shares.


JSW Steel rose 5.4% to 1,100.05 after Goldman Sachs upgraded the steelmaker to buy from neutral.

Reliance Communications was up 1% at 127.45 ahead of a news conference by the second-largest mobile operator to announce a “strategic development".