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Indian shares down on profit-taking; head for 1st weekly fall in six
March 3, 2017 / 6:41 AM / 7 months ago

Indian shares down on profit-taking; head for 1st weekly fall in six

* NSE, BSE indexes down as much as 0.4 pct

* Financials contribute most to losses

By Samantha Kareen Nair

March 3 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell as much as 0.4 percent on Friday and were headed for their first weekly fall in six as investors booked profits after a rally that lifted the benchmark indexes to near two-year highs in the previous session.

The fall in Indian stocks was in line with their Asian peers as expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike weighed on sentiment.

“The decline in the indexes is not surprising. It was expected that some profit-booking would take place and that is what we’re seeing now,” said Gaurang Shah, vice president, Geojit Financial Services.

“Some caution can also be expected ahead of the state election results,” he said. Results of five state elections, including the key state of Uttar Pradesh, are expected at the end of next week.

The broader NSE index was down 0.2 percent at 8,878.95 at 0555 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.2 percent lower at 28,777.28.

Both indexes touched their highest since March 2015 in the previous session.

They were set to snap a five-week gaining streak, with NSE down 0.7 percent for the week and BSE losing 0.4 percent.

Financials were down, with the Nifty Financial Services index falling as much as 1 percent. Bajaj Finserv and Housing Development Finance Corp fell more than 2 percent.

The Nifty Auto index declined after rising in the last two sessions. Bajaj Auto was down 0.6 percent after gaining as much as 2.3 percent in the previous two sessions.

Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd fell as much as 5.3 percent after a unit of Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah launched a block deal to sell $160 million worth of shares in the company.

Among the gainers, Hindalco Industries Ltd rose after the company said it would raise $500 million in a share offering to repay its debt.

Reliance Industries rose as much as 4.1 percent to its highest since May 2008 underpinned by hopes over its telecom unit, Jio, with CLSA citing optimistic assessment provided by the company at an analyst meeting. (Reporting By Samantha Kareen Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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