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Indian shares edge down; investors focus on bank earnings
April 19, 2017 / 6:35 AM / 8 months ago

Indian shares edge down; investors focus on bank earnings

* NSE, BSE indexes fall about 0.1 pct

* Financials among biggest losers

* Normal monsoon forecast aids sentiment

By Darshana Sankararaman

April 19 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged lower on Wednesday as investors turned cautious ahead of a slew of corporate results, particularly banks, although a forecast for an average monsoon gave a leg-up to market sentiment.

The focus is now on the financial sector this week - with Yes Bank Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd due to report results - after mixed fortunes at IT blue chips that have already reported earnings.

Infosys Ltd was down for a fourth consecutive session, dropping about 5 percent since issuing a lower-than-expected revenue guidance for the year last week, while Tata Consultancy Services Ltd fell as much as 2.43 percent after earnings marginally beat expectations on Tuesday.

“Results season has started and results for some of the sectors are expected to be subdued,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head of research at Centrum Wealth.

“Investors could be cautious given that markets are closer to their highs.”

Sentiment however was supported after India’s weather office said on Tuesday that monsoon rains would be of an average amount in 2017, easing concerns over farm and economic growth.

“Hopes of a consumption recovery in the second half of the year are holding up the markets from a long-term perspective,” Khemka said, adding a good monsoon would bode well for the economy.

The broader NSE index was down 0.13 percent at 9,093.55 by 0630 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.12 percent lower at 29,282.97.

Financial stocks were among the top losers on the NSE index. Axis Bank Ltd fell as much as 2.28 percent, while ICICI Bank Ltd dropped 1.15 percent.

National Aluminium Co Ltd slumped as much as 7.08 percent to its lowest since March 8 after the miner said on Tuesday the government would sell up to a 10 percent stake in the company. (Reporting By Darshana Sankararaman in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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