Markets drop 0.5%; IT stocks fall

Markets drop 0.5%; IT stocks fall

Mumbai: Indian shares eased on Thursday as investors took some profits after the market had risen 4.6 percent over the past three sessions. Export-led outsourcers dropped as the rupee climbed to a six-week high.

By 10:15am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading down 0.45% at 16,923.41, with 21 of its components declining. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.5% at 5,063.85.

“The market seems to be consolidating after the rally post the budget. Some amount of profit booking is also expected after the steep rise we saw," said R.K. Gupta, managing director of Taurus Mutual Fund, adding 16,800 was a good support level.

He said advance quarterly tax paid by companies around the middle of the month would be the next trigger for the market.

Software services bellwether Infosys was down 1.5%, while rivals Tata Consultancy and Wipro shed 0.9% and 1.1% respectively.

The companies get most of their revenue from exports and the rupee’s rise could crimp their margins, said Harit Shah, research analyst with Karvy Stock Broking.

Infosys plans to raise wages for all its staff by 8-12% in April on a rebound in demand for outsourcing services, media reports said.

Reliance Industries extended gains and rose 0.3% after a source said told Reuters the energy major has no plans to raise its bid for bankrupt LyondellBasell.

The stock has gained 6.3% since the close of 25 February on fading hopes of the LyondellBasell buy.

In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.4:1 on volume of 80 million shares.