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 https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/its-not-the-govts-intent-to-hit-fpis-nirmala-sitharaman/articleshow/70426223.cms.

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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