* NSE index down 0.03 percent, BSE index 0.02 pct lower
* Pre-budget rally expected, qtrly earnings in focus -
* Nifty IT index falls as much as 3.23 pct
By Samantha Kareen Nair
Jan 6 Indian shares pulled back from a near
two-month high on Friday, as a slump in IT shares on worries
over H-1B visas outweighed positive sentiment from continued
gains in Asian stocks.
However, overall sentiment remained upbeat with the broader
NSE index heading for a weekly gain of 1 percent in what
could be its second such rise. The index also crossed above its
200-day exponential moving average on Thursday, an indicator of
a further upside.
Gains in Asian shares, with MSCI's ex-Japan Asia-Pacific
shares index at four-week highs, have come as
investors are increasingly hopeful about quarterly earnings and
that the government will deliver a fiscally responsible budget
on Feb. 1.
"A pre-budget rally in the month of January is anticipated
and soon we will see corporate earnings unfold where markets
will get a direction from," said Gaurang Shah, vice president,
Geojit BNP Paribas.
The broader NSE index was down 0.03 percent at 8,271
as of 0628 GMT after gaining as much as 0.4 percent to its
highest since Nov. 11 earlier in the session.
The benchmark BSE index was 0.02 percent lower at
26,873.93 after touching a near two-month high. It has gained
0.9 percent so far this week.
IT stocks were among the biggest losers as two U.S.
lawmakers reintroduced a bill to curb the use of H-1B visas,
including requiring employers to pay more for workers under the
The Nifty IT index fell as much as 3.2 percent in
its biggest percent loss since Nov. 9. HCL Technologies
and Tech Mahindra declined up to 4.5 percent
But financials supported the index most with the NSE Bank
index gaining as much as 1.16 percent. ICICI Bank
and State Bank of India rose 1.5 percent
(Reporting by Samantha Kareen Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by