Morning: Markets fall 0.5% after 6-day rally

Morning: Markets fall 0.5% after 6-day rally

Mumbai: Indian shares dropped 0.5% Monday as investors locked in profits after a six-session rally, with weak Asian markets setting the direction.

By 11:23am, the 30-share BSE Index was down nearly 80 points at 16,185.94 points, with 20 components losing. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.6% at 4,802 points.

The benchmark, which climbed 5.6% over the previous six sessions, had more than doubled last Tuesday from its March low.

“There is very little room for buying at these levels," said D.D. Sharma, vice-president, Anand Rathi Securities.

“There might be pockets of demand at dips, but largely I foresee a downward trend for some time as the market will continue to experience profit-booking," he said.

Private-sector lender ICICI Bank led the losers, falling 1.2% to Rs825.90, followed by engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro that shed 0.9% to 1,613.15 rupees.

Tata Steel, the world’s eighth-largest steel maker, bucked the trend and rose 1.2% to Rs474.80 on rising demand hopes, and top automaker Maruti Suzuki gained 0.2% to Rs1,469.70 on robust car sales.

Data on Friday showed factory output grew for a seventh month in July and India’s reservoirs and prospects for winter crops were boosted after the weather office said the monsoon delivered the season’s heaviest rain in the past week.

Sharma said many sectors including real estate, banks and autos had run up over the past week and needed to pause.

Foreign funds have moved about $448 million into Indian equities between 1-10 September, taking the total inflow since the end of 2008 to $8.7 billion.

The investment has helped the BSE index climb nearly 69% this year, after sliding more than half in 2008 when foreigners had pulled out over $13 billion.

In the broader market, there were 1,259 losers to 969 gainers on moderate volume of 116.4 million shares.