* BSE index falls 0.99 pct; NSE index down 1 pct
* ONGC, Reliance fall as gas price hike deferred
* Markets set for new highs - Reuters poll
By Indulal PM
MUMBAI, June 26 Indian shares ended lower on
Thursday with sharp falls in oil explorers such as Reliance
Industries and Oil and Natural Gas Corp.
after the government deferred a decision to hike prices of
locally produced gas, while the expiry of monthly derivatives
contracts also weighed on sentiment.
India on Wednesday deferred a decision to raise prices of
locally produced gas for the next three months, saying the
matter requires more discussion, which some investors took as a
first disappointment from the newly-elected Modi government.
However, capital goods and auto stocks gained after the
government extended excise duty concessions for automobiles,
consumer and capital goods by six months to Dec. 31.
Investors are now awaiting the budget on July 10 for further
clarity on the government's policies.
India's benchmark index, the Sensex, will keep setting new
highs in the coming year, after a small correction in the next
few months, a Reuters poll found on Thursday.
"Market is likely to touch a new high in July in response to
a growth-oriented budget and decent June quarter numbers from
majority of the companies," said Vijay Kedia, managing director
at Kedia Securities Pvt Ltd.
The benchmark BSE index ended 0.99 percent lower at
25,062.67 points, while the broader NSE index closed 1
percent lower at 7,493.20 points.
Oil and gas stocks led the fall with the BSE's sector
sub-index down 3.88 percent after the government
decision to defer a gas price hike.
Shares in ONGC fell 5.84 percent to 411.35 rupees, while
Reliance Industries plunged 3.72 percent. Oil India Ltd
closed down 2.8 percent, while Cairn India Ltd
ended 1.35 percent lower.
However, the losses were limited on the back of gains in
capital goods and auto stocks such as Larsen and Toubro
as duty concessions for automobiles, consumer and
capital goods sectors lifted investor sentiment.
L&T gained 1.42 percent while Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd
closed 0.54 percent higher.
Among other stocks, ITC Ltd gained 0.06 percent
after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to "overweight" and
raised its price target to 400 rupees from 360 rupees.
Monsanto India closed 3.86 percent higher after
earlier hitting a record high at 2,414 rupees after parent
Monsanto Co beat quarterly forecasts, improved its
near-term outlook and said it planned to double earnings over
the next five years.
For additional stocks on the move double click
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Dollar still hurt by U.S. GDP revision, pound soft before BoE
* Oil steady around $114 as Iraq exports in focus
* Stocks put aside U.S. growth setback
* 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:
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(Additonal reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi; Editing by Sunil