Indian shares edged lower on Friday, tracking weak Asian cues after China's trade balance for July came in much worse than expected, with exports barely growing from the year-ago period and imports increasing at a smaller pace.
Slower industrial growth domestically and worries that weak monsoons will drag India's GDP growth further below 5 percent for FY13 are also weighing on markets.
Trading in a narrow range, the benchmark Sensex is currently down 25 points or 0.14 percent at 17,536, while the broader Nifty index is at 5,311, down 12 points or 0.23 percent from its previous close. Second-line stocks are posting modest gains, with the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indexes rising about 0.1 percent each.
Auto, capital goods and banking stocks are among the prominent decliners, while FMCG, oil/gas and IT stocks are seeing stock-specific buying.
SBI is little changed ahead of its quarterly results after UBS downgraded the stock to "sell" from "buy". ICICI Bank is edging down marginally and HDFC Bank is declining half a percent.
Essar Oil is down 0.3 percent after it received lenders' approval for exiting the Corporate Debt Restructuring loan facility set up in December 2004. GMR Infrastructure and Piramal Glass are down 2-4 percent on disappointing earnings results.
HPCL is moving up 0.2 percent even as its first-quarter loss widened three times from the year-ago period. BPCL and IOC are down 1-2 percent amid reports oil companies have sought an immediate petrol price hike. ONGC is gaining half a percent on reports that it may announce oil discovery near the Mumbai High fields.
Bharti Airtel is rising 1.9 percent after a two-day sell-off. Sun Pharmaceuticals is gaining 0.6 percent ahead of its quarterly results. Tech Mahindra is moving up 2.5 percent as it posted a 22 percent rise in quarterly consolidated net profit, matching estimates.
IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company is climbing 3.5 percent on winning two new orders worth about Rs. 142.17 crore.
Indian shares eased slightly on Thursday after global brokerages cut India's growth forecast for the year and government data showed the nation's industrial output shrank by 1.8 percent in June, marking the third decline in four months, mainly driven down by a slump in manufacturing and lower growth in the agricultural sector.
Reversing early gains, the benchmark Sensex ended the session down 40 points or 0.23 percent at 17,561, while the broader Nifty index fell by 15 points or 0.28 percent to 5,323.
by RTT Staff Writer
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