MUMBAI (Reuters) – The BSE Sensex fell on Wednesday, a session after closing at its highest since mid-March, as select blue chips such as cigarette maker ITC were hit by profit-taking.
Global risk aversion also weighed. European shares edged lower on Wednesday after profit warnings from U.S. companies, including Cummins Inc (CMI.N), compounded fears the sluggish global economy will erode earnings.
At home, investors will shift their focus to corporate earnings, as software services exporters Infosys (INFY.NS) and Tata Consulting Services (TCS.NS) will announce April-June quarterly earnings on Thursday.
Industrial output is also due on Thursday with inflation data due on Monday, while investors are also looking ahead to presidential elections on July 15.
Though the government’s candidate, Pranab Mukherjee, is widely expected to win the poll for the ceremonial post, analysts have earmarked the date as the potential start of meaningful policy reforms in India.
“Q1 earnings can only be just the short-term driver but for the long run the real impact would come only after Presidential elections as to what decisions government takes on reforms,” said K.R. Bharat, a managing director at Advent Advisors.
“Irrespective of muted earnings or otherwise in Q1, only speedy economic reform will bring cheer to investors”
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 0.73 percent to 17,489.14 points, after closing on Tuesday at their highest in nearly four months.
The 50-share Nifty lost 0.73 percent to end at 5,306.30 points.
Shares saw some profit-booking ahead of the earnings season as analysts expect muted earnings growth in the April-June quarter.
Recent outperformers fell. ITC (ITC.NS) fell 2 percent to 253.30 rupees, after hitting a record high of 260.40 rupees on July 2 as investors have bet on its growth potential given it dependence on sturdier domestic consumer demand.
Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) fell 1.9 percent, after gaining 1.1 percent on Tuesday, hit as well by continued worries over natural gas output from its domestic KG-D6 blocks.
Among companies reporting earnings, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC.NS) fell 0.3 percent, outperforming the broader index. The mortgage lender said net profit grew 18.6 percent to 10 billion rupees in the fiscal first quarter, in-line with consensus estimates.
India’s largest software services exporter TCS fell 0.3 percent ahead of its earnings on Thursday, while Infosys shares rose 0.5 percent.
Shares in Cummins India (CUMM.NS) fell 3 percent, after its parent Cummins Inc (CMI.N) cut its full-year sales forecast on Tuesday, sending its shares down 10 percent in U.S. markets.
But among gainers, shares in GVK Power & Infrastructure (GVKP.NS) rose 0.3 percent after saying its unit Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) would impose hourly penalties on private jets that stayed beyond their allotted time, traders said.