BSE Sensex falls 36.21 pts, Sesa Sterlite share price biggest loser, Maruti Suzuki tops as gainer

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BSE Sensex falls over 36 points to close at 20,647.30. (PTI) BSE Sensex falls over 36 points to close at 20,647.30. (PTI)
SummaryBSE Sensex index falls for fourth session even as ICICI Bank shares plunged post-results.

Markets continued to decline for the fourth day as BSE Sensex closed marginally in the red territory. The 30-share index was down 0.18% or 36.21 points lower at 20,647.30 points.

Earlier, BSE Sensex had gained as much as 0.7% as Turkey's decision to hike interest rates stirred hopes that the move would stem the sell-off being seen in emerging markets. On Tuesday, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to raise its repo rate by 25 basis points.

Among sectoral indices, BSE Metal Index was down 1.35%, BSE Realty Index was down 0.58% and BSE Consumer Durables Index was down 0.7%. Among individual stocks, Sesa Sterlite (-3.05%), Tata Steel (-2.21%) and Hindalco Industries Ltd (-1.8%) were the biggest losers on the Sensex. Maruti Suzuki India (7.11%), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) (3.86%) and Hero Motorcorp (2.85%) were the top gainers.

Meanwhile, most Asian indices were in the green. KOSPI (1.26%), Jakarta Composite (1.74%), Shanghai Composite (0.56%) and Hang Seng (0.82%) traded higher. Meanwhile, Straits Times was down 0.47%.

FIIs have net bought about $75 million worth of Indian shares in January but experts suggest the pace of buying is slowing down. Industry watchers believe that fears of a more aggressive cut in quantitative easing loom, which might impact FII flows to emerging markets such as India.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had ended up 0.57%, while Nasdaq Composite was up 0.35%

HIGHLIGHTS

* BSE index falls 0.18 pct; NSE ends 0.1 pct lower

* ICICI Bank drags; CEO says bad loans to continue in coming quarters

* Bharti falls on India voice, Africa margins

* Maruti Suzuki rebounds; selloff seen as overdone

NSE Nifty index marks 2-month closing low; Fed key

(Reuters) India's NSE index fell for a fourth consecutive session on Wednesday to its lowest close in two months as banks were hit after biggest Indian private lender ICICI Bank said bad loans had risen and it would set aside more funds.

Indian banks had already fallen 0.3 percent on Tuesday after the Reserve Bank of India surprised investors by raising interest rates for the third time in five months to contain inflation.

The hike in rates did help boost the rupee at a time when emerging markets were under pressure, but stock investors are concerned about its potential impact on economic growth.

Overseas investors have sold shares worth $452 million since Thursday's close amid turmoil in emerging markets.

Volumes on the benchmark BSE index sank to the lowest in four days, with caution also prevailing ahead of the conclusion of the United States Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the day.

The Fed is widely expected to continue reducing its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion a month.

"I think the decision on tapering is crucial for global markets including India. $5-10 billion is okay but anything beyond that would be a shock for us," said Sudip Bandyopadhyay, managing director at Destimoney Securities Pvt Ltd.

The broader NSE index lost 0.1 percent, or 6 points, to end at 6,120.25, its lowest close since Nov. 28.

The BSE index fell 0.18 percent, or 36.21 points, to end at 20,647.30, extending its losing streak for a fourth consecutive session.

ICICI Bank Ltd fell 1.7 percent after its chief executive officer said she expects addition in bad loans and restructured debt to continue in the coming quarters.

The bank's December-quarter net non-performing loans rose to 0.94 percent versus 0.76 percent a year ago.

Among other financial stocks, Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd fell 0.7 percent while State Bank of India Ltd ended 1.4 percent lower.

Bharti Airtel Ltd lost 1.3 percent, having earlier risen as much as 2.86 percent, after October-December voice minutes on its India mobile network grew 1.47 percent quarter-on-quarter, lagging some analysts' expectations.

Sesa Sterlite fell 3.2 percent after the company reported December-quarter net profit of 18.68 billion rupees, which lagged some analysts expectations.

Among stocks that gained, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd rose 6.9 percent, recovering from an 8.2 percent drop on Tuesday due to concerns about Suzuki Motor's plans to invest $488 million to build a car plant in India's Gujarat state.

Havells India Ltd rose 3.3 percent after the company said its December-quarter net profit rose 28.3 percent to 1.21 billion rupees.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Dollar firms as investors brace for more Fed tapering

* Oil rises nearly $2 to 2014 high on spread trade

* Asia enjoys relief rally as Turkey takes bold step

* Foreign institutional investor flows

BSE Sensex washes out gains to end 36 pts down; Fed decision eyed

(PTI) The benchmark Sensex erased early gains and fell 36 points in the fourth day of losses as Bharti Airtel and ICICI Bank earnings missed estimates and investors waited for a decision from the US Federal Reserve on tapering.

Overnight data on FII selling and fag-end profit booking before monthly derivative contracts expire tomorrow, also weighed on stocks, traders said.

Shares from metal, banking, consumer durables and realty pack were among the laggards while capital goods and pharma stocks attracted good buying support, they added.

The Sensex resumed on a positive note and firmed up to a high of 20,828.68 on strong buying aided by Asian trends.

However, the gains were later frittered away and the 30-share index ended at 20,647.30, a loss of 36.21 or 0.18 per cent. In four days, the Sensex has shed over 726 points.

Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research, Veracity Broking Services said, "Both ICICI Bank and Bharti Airtel posted positive numbers in Q3 earnings, which were below markets' projections. During the later part of the day, profit booing picked up which created some pressure."

Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite, Hindalco and RIL also fell.

However, Maruti shares with a 7 per cent spurt led the 14 Sensex gainers that included Sun Pharma, Bhel and Hero Moto.

The NSE Nifty eased by 6.00 points to end at 6,120.25.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) sold shares worth Rs 1,267.35 crore yesterday as per the provisional data.

Globally, markets were stable ahead of Fed meet outcome.

"The US Fed meeting result will be available tonight. The street is factoring in (another) USD 10 billion tapering," said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, Inventure Growth and Securities. The US central bank has already trimmed it by USD 10 billion to USD 75 billion per month.

Asian markets ended higher after Turkey's central bank doubled interest rates to arrest a currency slide that roiled global markets. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, China, Japan and South Korea rose, while the one from Singapore fell.

Europe was also trading higher as indices in France, Germany and the UK moved up in 0.67-0.82 per cent range.

Among the BSE Sensex constituents, 16 scrips of the 30-share pack ended down while the remaining 14 finished up.

Major losers were Sesa Sterlite (3.05 per cent), Tata Steel (2.21 per cent), Hindalco (1.8 per cent), ICICI Bank (1.69 per cent), Bajaj Auto (1.62 per cent), Bharti Airtel (1.52 per cent), SBI (1.4 per cent), M&M (1.34 per cent), Tata Motors (1.24 per cent) and Reliance Industries (1.07 per cent).

On the winners side, Maruti Suzuki rose by 7.11 per cent, BHEL (3.86 per cent), Hero MotoCorp (2.85 per cent), Axis Bank (1.58 per cent), Sun Pharma (1.34 per cent), Cipla (1.29 per cent) and Infosys (1.11 per cent).

Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Metal index fell by 1.35 per cent, followed by Consumer Durables (0.76 per cent), Bankex (0.69 per cent) and Realty (0.58 per cent).

The gainers were led by Capital Goods that firmed up 0.92 per cent, Healthcare (0.76 per cent), IT (0.56 per cent) and Teck (0.44 per cent).

The market breadth turned negative as 1,391 stocks ended in the red, 1,212 finished in the green while 143 ended flat.

The total turnover dropped to Rs 1,778.65 crore from Rs 2,450.58 crore yesterday.

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