Indian shares edge lower on weak earnings, FinMin comments

Madiha Shakeel July 29, 2019

BENGALURU: Indian shares lost steam and moved lower on Monday clouded by weak corporate results, while bond yields fell after the finance minister’s comments in a media interview that the government did not intend to review its overseas borrowing plan.

The broader NSE index fell 0.4% at 11,236.65 as of 0507 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index dropped 0.24% at 37,791.91.

Maruti Suzuki Ltd shares fell as much as 2.9%, despite reporting a profit that beat estimates, as the government lowered taxes on electric vehicles.

India’s government on Saturday slashed taxes on electric vehicles and chargers to encourage the use of more eco-friendly cars.

However, investors in auto stocks did not seem to be ecstatic about the move, as the Nifty Auto index fell 2.8% to a near 3-1/2-year low, with motorcycle makers TVS Motor and Hero Motocorp dropping as much as 3.5% each.

Vodafone Idea Ltd reported a worse-than-expected loss of 48.74 billion rupees ($707.61 million) on Friday, sending its shares down as much as 10% in morning trading.

“Sentiment is quite weak. Only a few companies are coming up with good numbers this earnings season,” said Rusmik Oza, a vice president at Kotak Securities.

“That is not giving very strong confidence to the market.”

India’s benchmark 10-year bond yield was down 10 bps at 6.43% after falling to 6.42% immediately after the market opened on the back of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s comments.

Sitharaman also sought the central bank to cut interest rates “significantly”, the Economic Times reported

Shares in Indiabulls Housing Finance also fell as much as 9%, after a lawmaker alleged that it embezzled as much as 1 trillion rupees from the National Housing Bank and laundered the money.

Among gainers, India’s second biggest private bank ICICI Bank rose 3.6% on Monday after the lender swung to a first-quarter profit.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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