Indian shares set for flat open with key results in focus

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares will likely open little changed on Thursday, tracking their Asian peers, with the focus on the Street’s reaction to quarterly results of key Nifty 50 constituents such as Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra and Bajaj Auto.

India’s GIFT Nifty was trading at 21,461.50 points as of 8:02 a.m. IST, suggesting the NSE Nifty 50 will open near its close of 21,453.95 on Wednesday.

The NSE Nifty 50 has lost 2.6% and the BSE Sensex has dropped 2.8% since HDFC Bank’s underwhelming results last Wednesday sparked an exodus of foreign funds.

The financial services index has lost about 6% in that period.

“Overall sentiment remains muted as concerns persist on foreign institutional investors (FII) selling due to premium valuations in India and weaker-than-expected earnings so far,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

FIIs extended their selling streak to a sixth session on Wednesday, offloading shares worth about $834 million, on a net basis, exchange data shows.

Their reaction to late-Wednesday earnings reports of HDFC’s fellow Nifty 50 constituents is key.

While Tech Mahindra missed third-quarter profit estimates due to muted client spending, Tata Steel posted a quarterly profit as declining costs more than offset lower revenue due to weak domestic prices.

Bajaj Auto also beat profit expectations, helped by strong domestic demand for its motorcycles and three-wheelers.

Asian shares were muted as investors awaited more details on China’s stimulus plans. [MKTS/GLOB]


** Zee Entertainment: India’s Enforcement Directorate conducted a search at Zee owner Essel Group’s continental office in Mumbai, according to media reports.

** TVS Motor beat third-quarter profit estimates on strong festive demand.

** Railtel Corporation of India posted a quarterly profit that almost doubled year-on-year.

** Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders received an order worth 10.70 billion rupees from the Ministry of Defence. ($1 = 83.1430 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)