Indian shares struggle for direction as metals counter consumer goods gains

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares struggled for direction on Monday as metal stocks negated gains in consumer goods names, while investors waited for tapering cues from a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the week.

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) logo is seen at the BSE building in Mumbai, India, January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.04% at 17,577.6 by 0500 GMT, and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.04% to 59,038.57.

Market participants will be closely watching the Fed’s two-day meeting starting on Tuesday, where it is expected to lay the groundwork for the tapering of its bond buying programme.

Metal stocks dropped more than 3%, with Tata Steel skidding over 5% to be the top loser on the Nifty, while peer JSW Steel lost nearly 4%.

Future prices for steel making raw materials dropped on Friday as China, the world’s top steelmaker, indicated it could expand strict air pollution controls to more cities.

Consumer goods stocks advanced, led by a near 3% jump in ITC Ltd.

ITC stock was helped by expectation that the COVID-19 vaccination drive would see an increase in tourist inflows, said A K Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital.

Indian Hotels Co and Mahindra Holidays jumped 10% and 3.3%, respectively. Media stocks rose over 3%.

Tech stocks rose with HCL Technologies advancing 2%, while banks fell after four straight sessions of gains.

Automakers also declined, with Eicher Motors losing 2% to lead the decline after reports here of top management changes at its Royal Enfield division.

Low-cost airliner SpiceJet jumped more than 3%, after reports said it received a waiver of lease rentals of about 3 billion rupees for four Boeing MAX aircraft.

Source: Read Full Article