The BSE Sensex fell for a second straight session on Monday, marking its biggest daily fall since July 27, as profit-taking, coupled with business outlook concerns, hit recent outperformers such as Reliance Industries.
DLF Ltd slumped after anti-corruption activists accused the biggest property developer of improper dealings with Robert Vadra, son-in-law of ruling party chief Sonia Gandhi. Shares were due for a consolidation, analysts said, as the focus shifts to the quarterly earnings reporting season, after the Sensex hit 17-month highs last week. Infosys is due to report earnings on Friday.
Comments from Finance Minister P Chidambaram about plans to unveil a "feasible" fiscal plan and his support for the government’s recent reform measures had muted impact given they were seen as re-iterating his previous stance.
The BSE index fell 1.21 per cent, or 229.48 points, to end at 18,708.98 points after hitting on Friday its highest intraday level since May 2, 2011. The 50-share Nifty fell 1.23 per cent, or 70.95 points, to end at 5,676 points, having hit its highest intraday level since April 28, 2011 on Friday. Infosys fell 1.5 per cent, down for a fourth consecutive session, ahead of its Q2 results expected on Friday.
Investors worry the software service exporter will have to cut its guidance to reflect the stronger rupee and a potential weakening in global demand.
Reliance Industries fell 4.5 per cent after Morgan Stanley cuts its rating to ‘underweight’ from ‘equal-weight’, citing expectations for weaker refining margins and valuation concerns among other factors. Shares in the energy conglomerate had gained 2.9 per cent over the previous three sessions. Profit-taking hit Indian banks after recent fiscal and economic reforms had sparked a rally in the sector by raising the prospect of potential interest rate cuts from the central bank.
State Bank of India shares fell three per cent after surging 21.5 per cent from the start of September to Friday’s close.
ICICI Bank dropped 1.4 per cent. Bharti Airtel rose 1.8 per cent, while Idea Cellular rose 3.6 per cent.