Indian shares eased on Friday, mirroring weak Asian stocks on renewed concerns over Greece. A Bloomberg report citing bank officials that China's biggest banks may fall short of lending targets for the first time in at least seven years also weighed on investor sentiment to some extent.
Closer home, the decision by oil marketing companies to raise petrol prices has raised hopes that the government will take up crucial decisions on FDI in aviation and retail very soon.
The benchmark 30-share Sensex is currently down 73 points or 0.45 percent at 14,149, while the broader Nifty index is down 25 points or 0.51 percent at 4,896.
ITC is marginally lower ahead of its earnings results due today. Jet Airways is tumbling 2.4 percent as the airline posted a Rs 298-crore net loss in the quarter ended March. Hindalco is down 0.7 percent after its U.S. unit Novelis reported a net loss of $107 million for the quarter ended March, hurt by lower prices of aluminum amid slowing demand in Europe.
State-run oil companies are retreating after oil minister S Jaipal Reddy hinted at a partial rollback in petrol price hike. Also, reports suggest that the government has postponed a ministerial meeting initially proposed to be held today to discuss raising diesel and LPG prices.
Upstream oil companies Oil India and ONGC are down 0.3 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, while oil retailers BPCL, HPCL and IOC are moving down between 0.7 and 2.3 percent.
NMDC is losing 1.7 percent after it signed a pact with RINL to set up a 450-km slurry pipeline and a pellet plant. HCL Technologies is down half a percent after announcing a strategic partnership with UBM Canon.
Bharti Airtel is moving up 0.8 percent, a day after the telecom major bought a 49 percent stake in U.S.-chipmaker Qualcomm's broadband wireless entities for around Rs 924 crore.
Other telecom stocks are also edging higher, with Idea Cellular and Reliance Communication gaining half a percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, after the Telecom Commission doubled the amount of spectrum for auction and deferred a decision on pricing of airwaves.
TVS Motor is climbing 3.3 percent as it posted a better-than-expected 30 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit. Videocon Industries is edging up 0.2 percent after its board approved a proposal to demerge the company's oil and gas business.
Indian shares rebounded sharply from two days of losses on Thursday, as a steep hike in petrol prices fueled speculation that the government may hike diesel and LPG prices this week to cut the fuel subsidy bill and counter the perception of government inaction that has lowered the credibility of the UPA government among overseas investors. The benchmark BSE Sensex ended up 274 points or 1.72 percent at 16,222, while the broader Nifty index rose by 86 points or 1.77 percent to 4,921.
by RTT Staff Writer
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