April 16, 2018 / 6:33 AM / in a year

Indian shares slip after longest winning streak so far this year

* NSE, BSE indexes slip 0.2 pct

* Infosys plunges nearly 6 pct

* UCO Bank falls to 12-yr low

By Vishal Sridhar

April 16 (Reuters) - Indian shares inched lower on Monday after seven straight sessions of gains, their longest gaining run so far this year, dragged down by IT services firm Infosys Ltd as its margin forecast fell short of market expectations.

Broader weakness in Asian markets also weighed on the sentiment amid tensions between the United States and Russia over Syria, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shedding 0.4 percent.

“Indian markets opened with subdued note with weak global cues and announcement of Infosys numbers below market expectation. However, undertone remained positive with fairly good macros,” said Anita Gandhi, Whole Time Director - Arihant Capital Markets Ltd.

Shares of India’s second-largest IT services company, Infosys, tumbled nearly 6 percent after it forecast on Friday FY19 operating margin between 22 to 24 percent, which Credit Suisse said was 100 basis points below expectations, and slightly lower than the previous year’s 24.3 percent.

The broader NSE index was down 0.22 percent at 10,457.95 as of 0545 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.24 percent lower at 34,109.31.

The future trajectory for the markets will depend more on corporate results, Gandhi added.

Tata Motors Ltd stock was trading 4 percent lower and was among the top percentage losers on both the indexes.

The automaker’s unit Jaguar Land Rover will cut about 1,000 jobs and production at two of its English factories due to a fall in sales caused by uncertainty around Brexit and confusion over diesel policy, a source told Reuters.

State-run UCO Bank plunged to a 12-year low after the country’s federal police filed a case on Saturday against bank’s former chairman, several business executives alleging criminal conspiracy that caused a loss of 6.21 billion rupees ($94.9 million).

Meanwhile, Gruh Finance Ltd surged as much as 6.5 percent to a 12-week high after the housing finance firm, a unit of Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd (HDFC), posted an 18 percent jump in March-quarter profit on Saturday. HDFC shares were up 0.9 percent, on track for a third straight session of gains.

Shares of Fortis Healthcare were on course to for a second straight session of losses after Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd said Fortis declined to engage with the company regarding a takeover offer, citing binding agreements with other parties. ($1 = 65.4550 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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