Indian shares ended yet another volatile session lower on Friday, extending losses for the sixth straight session. With concerns increasing about the fate of government's reforms and Cyprus' worries keeping investors nervous, the benchmark BSE Sensex ended the session down 57 points or 0.3 percent at 18,736. The broader Nifty index fell by 7 points or 0.13 percent to 5,651, while the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indexes lost 0.3 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
Among the prominent decliners in the Nifty pack, Tata Steel, SBI, Ranbaxy and DLF lost 2-3 percent. Tata Motors fell 1.3 percent on continued fears that new fuel-efficiency norms announced by China would impact its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) unit. Maruti Suzuki edged down 0.3 percent on reports it is offering a discount on purchase of its Swift diesel hatchback and the Ertiga MUV.
Oracle Financial Services slumped 3.8 percent after its parent Oracle Corp posted disappointing third-quarter earnings and issued a weak outlook. IT stocks also lost ground following Oracle's weak fiscal third-quarter results. Infosys fell half a percent, HCL Technologies shed 0.9 percent TCS declined 1.7 percent
Religare Enterprises tumbled 3.4 percent after Quadria Capital bought Milestone Religare Investment Advisors, an equal joint venture between Religare Enterprises and investment advisory firm Milestone Capital Advisors.
Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri plunged 10 percent after HSBC Global Investment Funds cut its stake in the company by offloading 12.7 lakh shares of the jeweler for about Rs 32 crore via bulk deals. IOC retreated 2.6 percent after Sri Lanka announced plans to partially take over a strategic oil storage depot in Trincomalee from its local arm.
ONGC ended largely unchanged after the company said it plans to invest over Rs 4,051 crore to modernize infrastructure at its key oil and gas fields off the Mumbai coast. SKS Microfinance rallied over 3 percent after completing two securitization deals worth Rs 115 crore.
Hero MotoCorp rose 1.5 percent after the two-wheeler manufacturer unveiled its capital expenditure plans for fiscal year 2014. Shares of rival Bajaj Auto soared 4 percent.
Reliance Infrastructure added 1.7 percent on bargain hunting after recent sharp losses. Cairn India ended marginally higher following reports that it may start supplying gas to fertilizer firms in Gujarat from this month.
Elsewhere, other Asian markets ended broadly lower, with Japanese shares pacing the decliners on a stronger yen after the nation's new central bank governor played down the chances of convening an emergency meeting to discuss easing monetary policy before the regularly scheduled session in April. Lingering worries about contagion in the eurozone from Cyprus' woes and disappointing Euro-area manufacturing and services data also overshadowed a batch of largely upbeat data from the U.S.
European stocks were broadly lower after Standard & Poor's cut Cyprus' long-term foreign currency credit rating deeper into junk status, citing "acute problems" in its banking sector and rising risks of a default.
With chances of getting an aid from Russia appearing bleak, the Central Bank of Cyprus has proposed a bill that will help the banking sector avoid the danger of bankruptcy and protect all insured deposits in their entirety up to EUR 100,000. The Cypriot Parliament is expected to begin debate on the bank-resolution and capital controls bill later today.
by RTT Staff Writer
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