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Indian Shares End Lower On Earnings, Data

Indian shares ended lower on Friday, weighed down by disappointing earnings reports from the likes of Bharti Airtel and BHEL as well as downbeat manufacturing PMI data. The results of a private survey showed that growth in Indian manufacturing slowed to a three-month low in January, with slower new orders and power outages hitting output.

The HSBC India Manufacturing PMI, a composite indicator that gauges the factory output and operating conditions in the manufacturing sector, fell to 53.2 in January from 54.7 in the previous month.

Meanwhile, the government is making efforts to turn the economy around and create a more investor-friendly climate, the PTI quoted Finance Minister P Chidambaram as saying at a meeting of financial sector regulators in New Delhi. Chidambaram committed to follow the path of fiscal consolidation in order to boost investor confidence and revert to the high growth path.

The benchmark BSE Sensex ended the session down 114 points or 0.57 percent at 19,781, while the broader Nifty index fell by 36 points or 0.59 percent to 5,999.

Shares of JP Associates tumbled 4.1 percent on reports the company has raised $100 million from a share sale to institutional investors. Realty firm DLF retreated 3.6 percent after announcing divestment of its wind turbine business in Gujarat to Bharat Light & Power for Rs 282.30 crore.

Bharti Airtel fell 3.2 percent as it posted a 72 percent fall in profit for the December quarter, missing estimates. The telecom major blamed the weaker results to pricing pressures and rising input costs.

Hindustan Unilever, SesaGoa, UltraTech, ONGC, Siemens, Hindalco and Ambuja Cement lost 2-3 percent. Oil India tumbled 3.3 percent despite its offer for sale getting good investor response in early hours of trade. Bharat Heavy Electricals edged down 0.6 percent after the power-equipment major disappointed investors with an 18 percent drop in quarterly profit.

Banks lost ground after the Reserve Bank of India issued revised draft policy norms for restructured loans, based on the recommendations of a panel. SBI and PNB fell about 1.2 percent each, ICICI Bank retreated 1.8 percent and HDFC Bank eased 0.6 percent. Bank of Baroda edged up 0.1 percent as it cut lending rates by 25 basis points. Corporation Bank plunged 6.5 percent on disappointing Q3 results.

Mahindra & Mahindra ended marginally lower as it reported an 11 percent rise in January sales. Tata Motors fell 1.7 percent and Hero MotoCorp slipped 0.7 percent, while Bajaj Auto added 1.5 percent. Maruti Suzuki advanced 1.5 percent after the nation's largest car maker posted a modest 1 percent drop in January sales.

State-run oil companies BPCL, HPCL and IOC rose about 3 percent each after Oil Minister Veerappa Moily said diesel prices will go up by 40-50 paise per liter every month to trim under-recoveries.

Sugar stocks gained ground after the government hiked the fair and remunerative price of sugarcane that mills are required to pay farmers by 23.5 percent to Rs.210 per quintal for the year starting October 2013. Balrampur Chini, Bajaj Hindusthan and Shree Renuka all ended up about 2 percent each.

Jet Airways added half a percent amid speculation Etihad Airways will make an announcement on acquiring a minority stake in the Indian carrier later today.

Elsewhere, other Asian markets swung between gains and losses as investors digested mixed economic data and looked ahead to the U.S. monthly jobs report due later in the global day amid mixed signals on the health of the world's largest economy.

China's Shanghai Composite index rallied 1.4 percent after data showed the official PMI measuring manufacturing sector performance expanded for the fourth month in a row in January. Japan's Nikkei index rose half a percent to end at a fresh 33-month high, bolstered by the yen's weakness and receding concerns over the global economy. European stocks were broadly higher ahead of the monthly jobs report from the U.S.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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