Indian shares drifted lower on Monday, mirroring a weak trend across Asia after data showed Japan's GDP grew at a slower than expected pace in the second quarter. Banking, IT and auto stocks are leading the decliners, while oil/gas/realty and healthcare stocks are seeing selective buying.
Investors eagerly await July inflation figures, due out tomorrow, for fresh clues on whether the Reserve Bank of India has room to slash interest rates at its next policy review in September. Underlying sentiment remains cautious after Fitch Ratings warned India of a possible downgrade from 'BBB-' to 'BB+' in the next 12 to 24 months.
The benchmark BSE Sensex is currently little changed at 17,550, while the broader Nifty index is moving down about 0.1 percent. Among the prominent decliners, Tata Motors, India's largest automaker, is retreating 1.6 percent, while TCS, Tata Steel, Mahindra & Mahindra, SBI, ITC and ICICI Bank are down between 0.3 percent and one percent.
Deccan Chronicle is tumbling 4.7 percent on news that its promoters have pledged about 6 crore shares with ICICI Bank. Siemens is declining 1.8 percent on dismal earnings results.
Maruti Suzuki is rising 2.3 percent amid reports it will announce its decision on the re-opening of its Manesar plant today. Bharti Airtel is gaining 1.6 percent on short covering after recent steep fall owing to disappointing results.
Kingfisher Airlines is climbing 13 percent even as the cash-strapped airline reported a higher-than-expected loss of Rs.650.79 crore in the first quarter. Tata Steel is down 0.7 percent and Coal India is little changed ahead of their quarterly results today.
Reliance Communication is moving up 2.5 percent after the telecom major posted a modest 3.2 percent rise in fiscal first-quarter net profit despite higher finance costs. ONGC is up 1.7 percent after the stat-run oil explorer announced a huge oil discovery off India's western coast that will help the firm raise its D1 field output to 36,000 bpd by February, 2013.
United Breweries, the beer arm of Vijay Mallya's UB Group, is climbing 7.4 percent as it reported a 39 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, led by robust sales.
Gitanjali Gems is moving up 1.1 percent. The company said it has received board approval to transfer its stake in Gitanjali Lifestyle, Gitanjali Jewelry Retail and MMTC Gitanjali to Gitanjali Brands, a subsidiary of the company, as part of a restructuring exercise.
India's benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty rose about 2 percent each last week, after Finance Minister P Chidambaram ordered a review of tax provisions that have a retrospective effect and vowed to take measures to bring down interest rates, spur investment and ease the burden on consumers. Trading mood was also bolstered by better-than-expected U.S. jobs data.
by RTT Staff Writer
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