Indian shares hit 2013 low; M&M, ACC fall

Fri Feb 8, 2013 5:09pm IST

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Kishore Pandey, 82, lies on a bed as his daughter, Usha Tiwari, holds him and a priest stands by them (L) at Mukti Bhavan (Salvation House) in Varanasi, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Waiting to die at Salvation House

The city of Varanasi is Hinduism's holiest city and many Hindus believe that dying there and having their remains scattered in the Ganges allows their soul to escape a cycle of death and rebirth.  Slideshow 

* BSE ends 0.49 pct down; NSE closes 0.59 pct lower
    * MCX-SX stock exchange to launch equities trading

    By Manoj Dharra
    MUMBAI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell for a seventh
session on Friday to the lowest close this year as India's
biggest utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd
 and cement makers Ambuja Cements Ltd and ACC
Ltd retreated after their earnings missed estimates.
    During the week, the BSE fell 1.5 and NSE lost 1.6 percent,
posting their biggest weekly losses since Sept. 1, as the
government's weaker-than-expected GDP growth forecast of 5
percent on Thursday disappointed the market. 
    However, inflation and industrial output data are the next
key tests for the market, after the Reserve Bank of India
disappointed investors on Jan. 29. Earnings of blue-chip
companies such as Tata Motors Ltd and State Bank of
India will also be key for further direction.
    "The Pressure of fiscal deficit and inflation is still
persisting. Falling GDP growth to sub-5 levels is also causing
lots of concerns," said K. K. Mital, Head of Portfolio
management at Globe Capital.
    The benchmark BSE index fell 0.49 percent, or 95.55
points, to end at 19,484.77, its lowest close since Dec. 31.
    The index fell for a seventh day to mark its biggest losing
streak since November, 2011.
    The broader NSE index fell 0.59 percent, or 35.30
points, to end at 5,903.50, after falling below key 5,900 levels
intraday.
    The MCX-SX stock exchange will launch equities trading on
Monday. Volumes will be watched, given its history of
competition with the National Stock Exchange.
    Mahindra and Mahindra shares ended 1.34 percent lower after
the company reported a 26 percent increase in its quarterly
profit, which lagged street estimates, as a slide in its
operating margin offset strong SUV sales growth. 
    Shares in cement companies fell after their October-December
earnings failed to impress the markets. ACC ended 3.02 percent
lower, while Ambuja Cement lost 5.2 percent. 
    Hindalco Industries Ltd, part of the Aditya Birla
group, fell 3.22 percent after reporting a 3.8 percent fall in
its October-December net profit at 4.34 billion rupees that had
a higher share of other income. 
    However, broader losses in Indices were offset by gains in
software services exporters such as Tata Consultancy Services
Ltd, which rose 2.6 percent, and Wipro Ltd 
which ended 1.6 percent higher after Cognizant Technology
Solutions Corp's quarterly profit modestly beat
estimates.
    The results confirm that revenues of Indian software
services exporters continue to outperform Cognizant's, making
the U.S.-listed IT company still not too much of a competitive 
threat. 
    Exide Industries Ltd shares gained nearly 6
percent. A company source with direct knowledge of the matter
told Reuters on Friday that Exide will raise prices for
replacement auto batteries by 5-6 percent due to rising input
costs.  

 (Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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