Indian shares end lowest in 4 months; political ambiguity, Cyprus weigh

Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:43pm IST

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Stocks

   

* BSE index falls 0.3 pct; NSE ends 0.13 pct lower
    * Cyprus scrambles to avoid a meltdown of its banking system
    * Oracle Financial shares track parent company's slump

    By Abhishek Vishnoi
    MUMBAI, Mar 22 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell for a sixth
consecutive session on Friday to their lowest close in four
months as blue chips such as State Bank of India continued to
reel from concerns about political instability and doubts over
the prospect of future rate cuts. 
    Falls also tracked Asian shares which hovered near their
lowest in nearly three months as Cyprus scrambled to avoid a
meltdown of its banking system and a possible exit from the euro
zone. 
    The central bank's cautious stance on future rate cuts and
the withdrawal of a key ally in the ruling coalition have left
investors concerned about economic growth and the prospect of
additional fiscal reforms, with benchmark indexes now hovering
close to breaking their 200-day moving averages.
    "Stocks may start looking attractive if more falls come, but
political instability and developments overseas like Cyprus do
not help" said Paras Adenwala, Managing Director & Principal
Portfolio Manager, Capital Portfolio Advisors.
    Political developments have made the situation very hostile,
with every rise used as a selling opportunity, added Adenwala.
    The benchmark BSE index fell 0.3 percent, or 57.27
points, to end at 18,735.60. 
    The index fell 3.6 percent for the week, marking a second
week of losses. 
    The broader NSE index fell 0.13 percent, or 7.40
points, to end at 5,651.35, falling for a sixth day, and marking
its biggest losing streak since seven sessions of falls ending
Nov. 19, 2012.
    The 50-share NSE index also fell 3.8 percent for the week,
marking its biggest weekly loss since Dec 18, 2011.
    ICICI Bank Ltd fell 0.7 percent, while State Bank
of India ended 1.7 percent lower on fears the Reserve
Bank of India may not ease interest rates in May after it issued
a cautious statement on monetary policy on Tuesday, dealers
said.
    Dealers added that risk aversion is also weighing on blue
chips like Tata Motors Ltd, which fell 1.2 percent
after earlier rising as much as 1.7 percent even as unit Jaguar
Land Rover Ltd (JLR) said on Thursday it did not
expect sales in China to be hurt by the new fuel standard
norms. 
    Shares in India's Oracle Financial Services Software Ltd
 fell 3.8 percent, tracking a slump in parent company
Oracle Corp on Thursday after the U.S. software maker's
third-quarter revenue fell far short of expectations.
 
    Shares of other IT companies were also under selling
pressure on weak market sentiment. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd
 dropped 1.1 percent, while Infosys Ltd shares
closed down 0.3 percent.
    Dr.Reddy's Laboratories Ltd fell 1.1 percent after
Bank of America-Merill Lynch replaced it with Sun Pharmaceutical
Industries Ltd in its model portfolio. Sun Pharma's
shares also ended 1.3 percent lower.
    However, defensive stocks rose in a volatile market with ITC
Ltd ending 0.2 percent higher, marking a weekly gain of
1.2 percent.
    
   For additional stocks on the move double click        
     
   FACTORS TO WATCH                                             
* Cyprus, German data push euro to 2-week low vs yen      
* Brent holds above $107 ahead of Cyprus bailout deadline  
* European shares facing worst week since Nov        
* 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 

 (Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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