Stocks edge lower; techs, Tata Motors down

Stocks edge lower; techs, Tata Motors down

Mumbai: Indian shares edged 0.2% lower on Tuesday led by software companies, on weak Asian cues amid caution ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s meeting.

The Fed is widely expected to renew its vow to keep rates near zero for “an extended period" and markets will watch closely for signs officials are growing more concerned the recovery is at risk or that there is danger of falling into a damaging vicious cycle of falling prices and slowing growth.

Export-oriented software companies shed the most, with the sector index dropping 0.9%, after their recent rally. The sector index is still up 2.7% so far in August.

Infosys Technologies CEO S. Gopalakrishnan told reporters late Monday the cost from US plans to hike visa application fees on some technology firms operating in the United States would over time be passed on to customers as it was an industry-wide issue.

Tata Motors, which unveils its June-quarter results in the day, shed 1.2% after it tested a three-and-half year high in the previous session.

The vehicles maker, which produces world’s cheapest car Nano, is expected to swing to a net profit of Rs980 crore for the June quarter from a loss of Rs330 crore a year ago, a Reuters poll showed.

By 10:20 am, the BSE 30-share index Sensex was trading down 0.19% at 18,252.96 points, with half of its components declining.

“Inspite of mixed results, the market is still not faltering. There may be some consolidation, but the sentiment is not bearish," said Neeraj Dewan, director of New Delhi-based Quantum Securities.

“The money flow here is not going to stop. Emerging markets are benefitting when the scene elsewhere in the world does not look promising."

Top outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services shed 0.9% while Infosys and Wipro dropped 1.2% each.

Banks erased some gains, with the sector index shedding 0.3% after rising 1.3% on Monday.

Top lender State Bank of India dropped 0.1% while leading private lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were down 0.4% and 0.6% respectively.

In the broader market, gainers led losers in a ratio of 1.7:1 in a volume of 117 million shares on the BSE.

The NSE 50-share index Nifty was down 0.2% at 5,473.80 points.

The MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan was down 1.1% while Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.6%.