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Indian Shares Edge Lower In Early Trade

Indian shares drifted lower on Tuesday, tracking mixed Asian cues as investors wait anxiously to hear what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will say tomorrow on reducing the central bank's massive stimulus program. The Indian rupee opened weak at 58.25 per dollar against 57.86 yesterday, further dampening investor sentiment.

The benchmark Sensex is currently down 56 points or 0.3 percent at 19,269, while the broader Nifty index is at 5,825, down 25 points or 0.44 percent from its previous close. Second-line stocks are posting modest gains and the market breadth is slightly positive, with advancing shares outpacing declining ones by 599 to 448 shares on the BSE.

Tata Power is leading the decliners in the Nifty pack with a 2.4 percent loss, while HDFC, Grasim, BPCL, ICICI Bank, NTPC, IndusInd Bank, Ranbaxy, Tata Motors and UltraTech Cement are down 1-2 percent.

GMR Infrastructure is declining 0.7 percent after the Maldives anti-corruption watchdog said that there was no corruption involved in the bid evaluation phase of the Male airport contract that was awarded to GMR by the previous administration. CMC is losing 0.9 percent on turning ex-dividend.

Telecom stocks are gaining ground after telecom regulator TRAI lowered the ceiling for national roaming charges. Bharti Airtel is rising 1.2 percent, Idea Cellular is up 1.7 percent and Reliance Communication is gaining 2 percent.

Siemens is adding a percent on winning a Rs.66 crore contact from NTPC for the renovation and modernization of its Korba Stage-II plant in Chhattisgarh.

Polaris Financial Technology is rallying 2.8 percent as it received an order to develop the online mutual fund platform to be implemented by the Association of Mutual Funds in India. Jet Airways is moving up 1.3 percent amid reports it expects to reduce its debt burden to more manageable level by end of next fiscal.

Aanjaneya Lifecare is climbing 3 percent after its board reset the conversion price of foreign currency convertible bonds. Hindusthan National Glass & Industries is up 2 percent after its board passed a resolution cancelling the issue of shares of the company on a preferential basis.

SRF is rising 1.2 percent as it set up and commenced trial production of a thin BOPET film line in Thailand. Tata Coffee is gaining 1.8 percent on reports it is scouting for possible acquisitions in Europe.

Indian shares rose notably on Monday, extending Friday's rally, after the Reserve Bank of India said a durable receding of inflation will open up the space for monetary policy to continue to address risks to growth. The benchmark Sensex and the broader Nifty index rose 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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