* BSE index falls 0.38 pct; NSE ends 0.37 pct lower
* RBI widely expected to keep rates unchanged on Tuesday
* Rate-sensitive stocks rally on hopes of CRR cut
By Abhishek Vishnoi
MUMBAI, Dec 17 Indian shares fell on Monday, led
by a decline in Tata Consultancy Services, which was hit by
worries over its outlook ahead of a meeting with analysts, while
Bharti Airtel fell after a unit priced its upcoming IPO at the
lower end of an indicative price range.
Caution also set in a day before the Reserve Bank of India's
policy review. The central bank is widely expected to hold off
on easing interest rates but may signal a more dovish stance.
Interest-rate sensitive stocks such as ICICI Bank
and Tata Motors gained as a result, with some analysts
also expecting the RBI to cut the cash reserve ratio for banks.
Goldman Sachs, however, said it expects RBI to cut interest
rate by 25 basis points on Tuesday after inflation was data was
much lower than expected. The contrarian view was not widely
shared by other analysts.
"The market are in a wait-and-watch mode ahead of monetary
policy and larger picture of U.S fiscal "cliff" related
negotiations," said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, head of research at
SMC Investments and Advisors Ltd.
The probability of a CRR cut is much higher on Tuesday,
The benchmark BSE index fell 0.38 percent, or 72.83
points, to end at 19,244.42, falling for the sixth session in
The broader NSE index fell 0.37 percent, or 21.70
points, to end at 5,857.90, closing below the psychologically
important 5,900 level, for a fifth day.
Tata Consultancy Services fell 3 percent on caution
ahead of a scheduled meeting between the management and analysts
later in the day amid concerns the software services provider
will deliver a downcast view on the sector.
Infosys fell 0.55 percent. India's no. 2 software
services provider may may cut its revenue forecast next month
as U.S. business clients defer spending and balk at signing big
Bharti Airtel shares ended 3.8 percent lower on
Monday after unit Bharti Infratel's initial public offer
received a lower-than-expected response from investors.
Although Bharti Airtel did not sell any of its shares as
part of the planned listing of its telecommunications tower
unit, traders expressed disappointment that the pricing had been
set at the lower end of earlier suggested bandŸ.
Stocks in non-banking financial companies such as L&T
Finance Holdings fell 1.4 percent, while Mahindra and
Mahindra Financial Services fell 1.8 percent, on
profit-taking after surging this year on hopes parliament will
approve a bill laying the groundwork to issue banking licences.
However, some rate-sensitive stocks rose, with State Bank of
India up 1 percent and ICICI Bank up 0.7 percent ahead of the
central bank's policy review on Tuesday.
Tata Motors gained 0.7 percent, up for a third day
, after stronger-than-expected November sales at Jaguar Land
Rover (JLR) reduced concerns about the outlook for the key unit
of the Indian auto maker.
Among other gainers, Fortis Healthcare soared 6.9
percent on Monday to a 13-month high after announcing the sale
of its 64 percent stake in its Australia dental business for
A$270 million ($285 million).
India's Jet Airways rose 2.4 percent after earlier
jumping as much as 4.7 percent to its highest in nearly two
years on hopes Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways will buy a stake in
India's Mint Newspaper reported on Monday that Etihad may
decide as early as this week whether it will invest in Jet
Airways or in grounded rival Kingfisher Airlines,
citing two people familiar with the matter.
Mint also quoted one of the people as saying Jet Airways had
the edge in terms of attracting Etihad's investment.
Kingfisher Airlines ended 4.8 percent lower.
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FACTORS TO WATCH
* Japan election result knocks vulnerable yen
* Brent stays above $108, China hopes support
* Dollar surges on Japan vote, U.S. budget weighs
* 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.....
Wall Street .... Gold ....... Currency..
Eurostocks..... Oil ........ JP bonds...
ADR Report ..... LME metals. US bonds..
Stocks News US.. Stocks News Europe
DIARIES & DATA:
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U.S. earnings diary European diary
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Eurostocks Week Ahead
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(Additional reporting by Manoj Dharra; Editing by Sunil Nair)