* 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 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
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
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.....
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
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)