Saturday, March 01, 2008

Indian shares close lower; Banking scrips close mixed, IT shares fall

MUMBAI, Feb. 29, 2008 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- Indian shares closed lower after the country's federal budget proposed an increase in short-term capital gains and imposed a tax on services provided by stocks, commodity exchanges and clearing houses.

'The budget was bad for capital markets, good for the industry and a populist one with the prospects of early elections,' said
S P Tulsian of technical analysis portal

The market wanted a positive impetus to the industry in a globally challenging credit situation, but the budget failed to lift market sentiment, analysts said.

The Bombay (OOTC:BBAO) Stock Exchange's 30-share benchmark Sensex closed 245.76 points or 1.38 pct down at 17,578.72 and the National Stock Exchange's 50-share S&P CNX Nifty closed 61.9 points or 1.17 pct lower at 5,223.20.

Out of 30 shares that Sensex tracks, only 9 closed up led by carmaker Maruti suzuki Ltd which rose 3.86 pct to 867.00 rupees on budget proposal of excise duty cut on small cars.

India's largest bank State Bank of India (SBI) gained 3.48 pct at 2,109.70 rupees, after falling 2.84 pct to a low of 1,980.70 rupees in intra-day trade.

IT companies, which were expecting continuation of benefits given to them beyond 2009, broadly reacted negatively as no major provisions suggested in the budget.

Among IT companies Infosys Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:INFY) led the fall, dipping 3.29 pct to 1,546.85 rupees on the Bombay Stock Exchange, followed closely by Wipro Ltd (NYSE:WIT) , which fell 2.64 pct to 434.65 rupees.

Among Nifty-50 stocks Reliance Petroleum Ltd (OOTC:RPLUF) gained the most, rising 6.67 pct to 175.80 rupees while Suzlon Energy Ltd (OOTC:SZEYF) dipped the most, shedding 4.66 pct to 285.25 rupees.

Out of 13 sectoral indices on the BSE 9 closed in red, with the capital goods index losing the most by 2.89 pct followed by IT, power and consumer durables sectoral indices.

Banking indices closed 0.40 pct up but the country's largest private sector bank ICICI Bank (NYSE:IBN) closed 1.14 pct down at 1,090.95 rupees.

Pharma shares closed mixed despite the government cutting customs duty on import of raw materials for life saving drugs and slashing excise duty on all pharma goods.

BSE benchmark index constituent Cipla Ltd gained 0.58 pct to 207.25 rupees and Dr Reddy's Laboratories (NYSE:RDY) Ltd rose 2.34 pct to 582.65 rupees while Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd was up 0.27 pct to 445.75 rupees.

Export led textile companies, which were expecting some relief on account of weakening dollar, too reacted negatively as no substantive majors found in the budget.

Century Textiles & Industries Ltd (OOTC:CTXTF) shares fell 3.28 pct to 802.90 rupees.

Reliance industries Ltd, which is active in polymer and textiles, fell 3.09 pct to 2,458.25 rupees.

Power indices on BSE reacted negatively as only customs duty cut on project imports failed to convince power sector investors, said an analyst.

State owned power generator National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd fell 1.08 pct to 201.75 rupees.

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