Indian shares fell on Tuesday, led by Ambuja Cement after its weaker-than-expected quarterly results raised concerns about corporate results, although losses were capped as some automakers rallied after posting jumps in April sales. Analysts said they expect indexes to trade range-bound as companies continue to report results, though the overall outlook remains hopeful about an economic recovery.
A business survey on Tuesday showed that manufacturing activity in the country expanded for a fourth consecutive month in April, helped by stronger growth in new orders although rises in output and employment slowed.
“Markets are in a consolidation mode as the corporate earnings season unfold,” said Rakesh Tarway, head of research, Reliance Securities Ltd. “Till the end of the earnings season, we can only expect to see a day-to-day sector-based or stock-based impact on the indexes based on the earnings performance.”
The broader NSE index was down 0.3 percent at 9,277.35 as of 0601 GMT. The benchmark BSE index was 0.31 percent lower at 29,826.18. Indian markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.
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Ambuja Cements fell as much as 4.21 percent after its quarterly profit missed estimates, becoming the main drag on the NSE index. Shares of most Indian automakers, however, rose after they reported a jump in April vehicle sales on Monday.
Maruti Suzuki gained as much as 2.53 percent to a record high of 6,690 rupees, while Eicher Motors rose 2.61 percent to a record high of 26,747.90 rupees.
Oil refiners also rose on hikes in petrol and diesel prices. Bharat Petroleum Corp gained as much as 2.75 percent, Hindustan Petroleum Corp rose as much as 2.40 percent, while Indian Oil Corp climbed as much as 1.87 percent. (Reporting By Samantha Kareen Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)