Sensex falls for fifth day; Tata Motors leads decline

MUMBAI Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:30pm IST

People look at a large screen displaying India's benchmark share index on the facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai May 4, 2009. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe/Files

People look at a large screen displaying India's benchmark share index on the facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai May 4, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Punit Paranjpe/Files

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex fell on Thursday for a fifth straight session to its lowest close in nearly four months as Tata Motors slumped due to fears of China's new fuel norms, while broader sentiment stayed weak because of concerns about political instability.

Markets have been under pressure, having fallen 2.6 percent after the RBI stuck to its cautious stance on future rate cuts and the DMK pulled out of the UPA, creating political uncertainty.

Investors are now concerned about the fate of proposed reforms and bills and await action by the government to revive sentiments.

"The biggest domestic worry is whether political uncertainty would impact the decision making of the government," said Sandip Sabharwal, chief executive - portfolio management services at Prabhudas Lilladher.

"We could continue to underperform global markets if there is no political clarity."

The Sensex fell 0.48 percent, or 91.32 points, to 18,792.87, its lowest close since November 26, 2012.

The Nifty fell 0.63 percent, or 35.65 points, to 5,658.75.

Tata Motors Ltd (TAMO.NS) fell 3.5 percent on worries that China's new stringent fuel economy standard would adversely affect the Indian automaker's unit Jaguar Land Rover Ltd TAMOJL.UL.

Capital goods shares were under selling pressure on weak market sentiments. Larsen & Toubro (LART.NS) dropped 2.9 percent, while Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL.NS) shares closed down 1.35 percent.

Asian Paints Ltd (ASPN.NS) ended 1.6 percent lower after Deutsche Bank downgraded the company to "sell" from "hold", saying valuations were running ahead of fundamentals. The investment bank said the stock was trading at an all-time high valuation despite rising competition.

However, recent underperformer gained. ICICI Bank (ICBK.NS) gained 3.4 percent on value buying after steep recent falls over allegations of money laundering by a local journalist.

Bharti Airtel Ltd (BRTI.NS) ended 6.4 percent higher after falling 11.7 percent in the previous five sessions.

Titan Industries Ltd (TITN.NS) gained 2.15 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded the company to "equal-weight" from "underweight", citing underperforming shares.

(Additional reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi, Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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