By Manoj Dharra
MUMBAI, Nov 15 India's main indexes fell for a
fifth consecutive session on Thursday to two-week lows as
concerns about protracted negotiations to avoid a U.S. "fiscal
cliff" hit software services exporters such as Tata Consultancy
Services and Infosys.
Investors also booked profits in recent out-performers such
as Tata Motors, with the euro zone also expected to
remain a persistent concern after data on Thursday showed the
region falling into recession during the July-September quarter.
Worries at home are also expected to prevail despite data on
Wednesday showing the wholesale price index eased, as headline
inflation is still high enough to be a headache for policymakers
struggling to balance the need for growth with taming prices.
Analysts said markets may remain vulnerable unless the
government announces additional economic and fiscal reforms,
given the central bank has indicated it won't cut interest rates
until the January-March quarter of 2013.
"Fiscal cliff is more of fancy words but implementation of
reforms by the government would be the next big trigger,"
said Vijay Kedia, a director at Kedia Securities.
The benchmark BSE index fell 0.79 percent, or
147.50 points, to end at 18,471.37 points, marking its lowest
close since Oct. 30.
The broader NSE index fell 0.63 percent, 35.95
points, to 5,631.00 points, marking its lowest close since Oct.
Both indexes have fallen for five consecutive sessions
including shortened Diwali trading hours on Tuesday. Markets
were closed on Wednesday for a public holiday.
Software services exporters, which derive more that half of
their revenues from the United States, were among the leading
Tata Consultancy Services fell 2.4 percent, while
Infosys fell 1.8 percent.
Metal stocks also fell tracking weaker prices of the
commodity at the London Metal Exchange. Hindalco Industries
fell 1.9 percent, while Sterlite Industries
fell 1.6 percent. Tata Steel fell 2.7 percent.
Investors also booked profits in recent out-performers. Tata
Motors fell 1.9 percent after surging 9 percent so far
this month as of Tuesday's close, outperforming a 0.84 percent
gain in the broader NSE index.
Tata shares fell even after the auto maker said global sales
rose 6 percent in October, including a 7 percent rise at key
unit Jaguar Land Rover.
ITC fell 2.6 percent. The cigarette maker has
surged 41 percent so far this year as of Tuesday's close.
Dealers also cited some concerns about increased regulatory
scrutiny for tobacco as a reason for Thursday's falls.
United Phosphorus fell 1.7 percent, while GMR
Infrastructure dropped 4.2 percent after both were
removed from the MSCI India index by the index compiler. The
changes will take place as of the close of trade on Nov. 30.
However, among gainers, wireless services providers gained
after an auction of 2G airwaves attracted less demand than
targeted by the government, leading to lower prices that are
giving a respite to the debt-ridden industry.
Bharti Airtel gained 2.6 percent, while Idea
Cellular rose 3 percent.
DLF surged 3.2 percent - recovering after concerns
about its July-September earnings had sent the stock down 5.2
percent over the previous three sessions - after the company's
management guided for an improvement in profitability, according
The property developer said later in the day it would aim to
sell its Aman Resorts luxury hotel chain by the end of December.
Indian Overseas Bank, Central Bank of India
and Bank of Maharashtra rose 1-2 percent each
after Finance Minister P. Chidambaram identified them as the
state-run lenders in more need of public funds.
The government will decide in the next few weeks how much
additional capital will be injected into state-run banks,
Chidambaram said on Thursday.
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Yen extends losses versus dollar and euro
* Brent crude climbs towards $110, Mideast tensions mount
* Growth worries, U.S. fiscal fears hit shares
* Foreign institutional investor flows
* For closing rates of Indian ADRs
ASIA-PACIFIC STOCK MARKETS:
Pan-Asia........ Japan....... S.Korea...
S.E. Asia....... Hong Kong... Taiwan....
Australia/NZ.... India....... China.....
Wall Street .... Gold ....... Currency..
Eurostocks..... Oil ........ JP bonds...
ADR Report ..... LME metals. US bonds..
Stocks News US.. Stocks News Europe
DIARIES & DATA:
Indian Data Watch Asia earnings diary
U.S. earnings diary European diary
Indian diary Wall Street Week Ahead
Eurostocks Week Ahead
For top Asian company news, double click on:
U.S. company news European company news
Forex news Global Economy news
Technology news Telecoms news
Media news Banking news
Politics/General Asia Macro data <ECONASIA
(Additional reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi; Editing by Rafael