Indian shares fall for 8th day; more weakness seen ahead
* BSE index falls 0.12 pct; NSE ends 0.1 pct lower * India's central bank says headline inflation "still high" * Public-sector stocks rally ahead of government stake sales By Abhishek Vishnoi MUMBAI, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell on Monday for an eighth consecutive session, marking their longest losing streak since May 2011 as ONGC retreated ahead of quarterly results, while financial stocks fell after the central bank governor said inflation was "still high." Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao reiterated his warning ahead of the January wholesale price index data, due on Thursday, reinforcing market worries inflation remains sticky even as economic growth has sharly slowed down. Trading was light and choppy as the Lunar New Year holiday shut most Asian financial centres, including those in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea. Domestic shares are expected to retain their weak tone in the lead-up to the 2013/14 budget to be unveiled on Feb. 28, after indexes had rallied last year. "Pre-budget party looks to be over. Sentiment is turning weak," said Vijay Kedia, director at private wealth management firm Kedia Investments. The market may drift further down, Kedia added. The benchmark BSE index fell 0.12 percent, or 24.20 points, to end at 19,460.57, its lowest close since Dec. 31 and its longest losing streak since a nine-session fall in May 2011. The broader NSE index fell 0.1 percent, or 5.65 points, to end at 5,897.85, closing below the psychologically important 5,900 level, for the first time since Dec. 27, 2011. India's new stock exchange MCX-SX started trading shares on Monday with thin volumes, taking up a steep challenge to build liquidity and win market share against dominant player National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the smaller and older BSE Ltd. At Monday's close, the value of shares traded on the MCX-SX was 6.9 million rupees ($128,900), its website showed, compared to 94.57 billion rupees on the NSE. Oil and Natural Gas Corp fell 1.7 percent ahead of its October-December quarter earnings later in the day. Financial stocks fell as Subbarao's warning on inflation comes after government on Friday estimated the economy growing at 5.0 percent in the fiscal year ending in March, although Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said over the weekend he still expected 5.5 percent growth. ICICI Bank fell 0.7 percent while Housing Development Finance Corp ended 1.1 percent lower. BGR Energy Systems Ltd fell 2.7 percent to a one-year low after margins missed estimates and as high interest costs resulted in a 24.3 percent fall in December quarter net profit. Cadila Healthcare ended 6.2 percent lower after earlier falling as much as 8.9 percent as October-December earnings disappointed on Friday. Credit Suisse also downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "outperform", citing delay in contribution from higher margin products. However, shares of MMTC Ltd gained 19 percent while Hindustan Copper Ltd rose 10.65 percent on hopes of good demand in the upcoming stake sales by the government. NTPC Ltd and Oil India's share sale attracted good response from investors. Hexaware Technologies gained 3.13 percent after it guided for "double-digit" revenue growth in 2013 with 150-200 bps sequential margin expansion in the first quarter. For additional stocks on the move double click FACTORS TO WATCH * Euro near two-week low vs dollar on political worries * Oil dips, stays close to nine-month high * Euro edges up, shares and oil slide in choppy trade * Foreign institutional investor flows * For closing rates of Indian ADRs ASIA-PACIFIC STOCK MARKETS: Pan-Asia........ Japan....... S.Korea... S.E. Asia....... Hong Kong... Taiwan.... Australia/NZ.... India....... China..... OTHER MARKETS: Wall Street .... Gold ....... Currency.. Eurostocks..... Oil ........ JP bonds... ADR Report ..... LME metals. US bonds.. Stocks News US.. Stocks News Europe DIARIES & DATA: Indian Data Watch Asia earnings diary U.S. earnings diary European diary Indian diary Wall Street Week Ahead Eurostocks Week Ahead TOP NEWS: For top Asian company news, double click on: U.S. company news European company news Forex news Global Economy news Technology news Telecoms news Media news Banking news Politics/General Asia Macro data <ECONASIA ($1 = 53.5450 Indian rupees) (Additional reporting by Manoj Dharra; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.
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