By RTT News,
January 03, 2014, 06:19:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Weak global cues and a lack of positive triggers weighed on Indian equities Friday. However, the markets pared early losses to end largely unchanged.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who addressed a press conference today, highlighted the achievements of his government and ruled himself out of the 2014 prime minister's race after the next general elections. BJP's Narendra Modi as PM will be "disastrous" for the country, he said.
The benchmark BSE Sensex hit an intraday low of 20,731 before recouping losses to finish down 37 points or 0.18 percent at 20,851.33. The broader Nifty index fell 10 points or 0.16 percent to 6,211.15.
The rupee traded at a one-month low on increased risk aversion globally as the dollar strengthened against other overseas currencies following positive U.S. economic data.
Investors await remarks from a number of Federal Reserve officials, including Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, later in the day for more guidance on the central bank's plans on stimulus tapering.
Tata Motors declined 2.5 percent after the company reported lower vehicle sales in December. Reliance Industries dropped 1.1 percent amid reports that it will likely add about 1-3 million standard cubic meters per day of gas production at its eastern offshore KG-D6 fields this month.
SBI shed 1.4 percent after its board approved a preferential share issue to the government at an issue price of Rs 1782.74 a share.
Metal stocks extended Thursday's declines after official data showed a gauge of China's non-manufacturing industries fell to a four month low in December. JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Hindalco and Coal India fell 1-2 percent.
Power utilities Reliance Power, Torrent Power and Tata Power fell 1-4 percent after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ordered a CAG audit of the distribution firms.
Infosys rose 2.3 percent ahead of its Q3 earnings results next week. TCS rallied 2.6 percent, Wipro advanced 0.9 percent and HCL Technologies added a percent. Drug makers such as Sun Pharma, Ranbaxy, Aurobindo Pharma and Biocon gained 1-5 percent on defensive buying.
Ashok Leyland soared 7.3 percent, a day after the Ministry of Urban Development sanctioned 1080 more buses for 13 cities under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
Tata Teleservices climbed 9.2 percent on reports Vodafone is in preliminary discussions with the Tata Group to buy its controlling stake in the company.
Reliance Communications rose 1.2 percent after repaying a $500 million ECB loan. HCC rallied 4.3 percent after winning a Rs. 443-crore contract.
The markets elsewhere across Asia fell sharply as investors continued to take profits despite some encouraging data out of Europe and the United States. Activity in the Chinese service sector slowed in December, official data showed, spoiling investor mood.
European stocks were modestly higher in early trading, led by gains in retail stocks after U.K.-based Next Plc. lifted its full-year profit forecast and announced a special dividend.
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