Indian shares slip in run up to key data, RBI policy

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Anisha Ajith

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares fell on Tuesday as caution reigned ahead of crucial data due through the week, including inflation reading from the United States and a policy decision by India’s central bank.

The Nifty 50 index settled 0.13% lower at 19,570.85, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.16% to 65,846.50, despite gains in financials and pharmaceutical stocks.

“The markets have run up nearly 14% between March and July. With such a sharp uptick, a time or price correction is likely. Caution is likely to prevail ahead of the policy decision and key macro data,” said Aniruddha Sarkar, chief investment officer and portfolio manager at Quest Investment Advisors.

Asian equities too fell, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index losing 1.16% as investors digested weaker Chinese trade data ahead of key inflation readings from China and the U.S. [MKTS/GLOB]

Domestic investors also awaited the Reserve Bank of India’s policy decision, due on Thursday.

The metals index was the top sectoral loser, shedding 1.17%, dragged by a 2.17% fall in Hindalco Industries on posting 40% slide in June quarter profit. Hindalco was among top losers on the Nifty 50.

In individual stocks, Hero MotoCorp jumped 3.82% and was among the top Nifty gainers, after the two-wheeler maker said that it received more than 25,000 bookings for Harley-Davidson X440.

However, bank, private bank and financial services gained between 0.19% and 0.32% while public sector banks climbed 3.37%. Global financial services firm BofA on Tuesday said it remained “overweight” on financials citing cheap valuations and low risk of earnings cuts.

The pharma index gained 0.64% and hit a record high. Drug maker Gland Pharma surged 20% after reporting 41% rise in June-quarter revenue, aided by the acquisition of French firm Cenexi.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Anisha Ajith in Bengaluru; editing by Eileen Soreng, Sohini Goswami, Varun H K and Nivedita Bhattacharjee)