Hindu Business Line file photo

Mumbai, India (BBN) – Indian domestic shares ended lower on Monday, their third consecutive session of losses, as investors waited for cues from the March-quarter corporate results season before taking any large positions.
Investors also remained cautious ahead of key economic numbers — industrial production (IIP) data for February and consumer inflation for March due to be released on Wednesday.
Domestic sentiment was also hit as Asian stocks slipped as increased geopolitical risks prompted investors to favour safe-haven bets such as government debt while the dollar drew support from Federal Reserve policy tightening expectations.
The benchmark BSE index closed down 130.87 points or 0.44 per cent at 29,575.74, its lowest since March 29.
The broader NSE index ended 16.85 points or 0.18 per cent lower at 9,181.45, with Infosys Ltd dragging the index down by about 16 points.
Among BSE sectoral indices, IT index fell the most by 83 per cent, followed by TECk 0.4 per cent, consumer durables 0.4 per cent and realty 0.25 per cent. On the other hand, oil & gas index was the star-performer and was up 1.01 per cent, metal 0.92 per cent, PSU 0.85 per cent and auto 0.46 per cent.
Top five Sensex gainers were Tata Motors (+1.92 per cent), Adani Ports (+1.4 per cent), Axis Bank (+1.25 per cent), Coal India (+1.13 per cent) and Tata Steel (+0.91 per cent), while the major losers were Infosys (-1.77 per cent), Asian Paints (-1.45 per cent), Reliance (-1.24 per cent), Wipro (-1.1 per cent) and NTPC (-1.04 per cent).
Indian shares have gained in double-digits so far this year, sending the broader NSE index to a record high of 9,273.90 last week, on the back of strong foreign investments and hopes for additional economic reforms.
Analysts said the January-March earnings would likely be key to determine whether those gains can be sustained.
Infosys Ltd, the country’s second largest software services company, will start the earnings season on Thursday.
“Markets are taking a breather, possibly, we will take some directional call from then onwards,” said Gaurang Shah, Vice President, Geojit Financial Services.
“It’s only prudent that we consolidate for some time, given the run-up that we’ve seen.”
The 30-share index gained 124.71 points or 0.41 per cent to 29,831.32. The gauge had fallen 267.63 points in the previous two sessions.
The NSE Nifty-50 index was up 27.35 points or 0.29 per cent at 9,225.65.
Asian stocks started the week on a cautious footing on Monday as increased geopolitical risks prompted investors to favour safe-haven bets such as government debt while the dollar benefited from comments from a US central banker.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was broadly flat after declining 0.4 per cent on Friday. Korea was down 0.5 per cent while Australia was up by 0.4 per cent.