By RTT News, September 13, 2013, 07:22:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Indian shares ended a volatile session modestly lower on Friday, weighed down by weak global cues as traders refrained from taking fresh positions ahead of next week's FOMC meeting. Many analysts expect the central bank to announce a modest reduction in its bond-buying program at the end of the two-day policy meeting slated to end Wednesday. Investors also remained focused on the possible fallout of the Syrian crisis as the U.S. and Russia began talks on a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.
The rupee drifted lower after recent sharp gains and Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) lowered India's GDP growth forecast, weighing on the markets. The Indian economy will likely expand 5.3 percent in the current fiscal year, sharply lower the earlier forecast of 6.4 percent growth, PMEAC Chairman Chakravarthy Rangarajan said.
Containing fiscal deficit within the government's budgeted estimate of 4.8 percent of GDP could be a challenge in the fiscal year that ends next March, but the deficit may fall to 3.8 percent of GDP in 2013-14, he said. The council pegs the headline inflation for the current fiscal year at 5.5 percent, as against the average of 7.4 percent in 2012-13 and 5.7 percent at end March 2013. On monetary policy, Rangarajan said the central bank should pursue the current policy stance until stability in the rupee is achieved.
The benchmark BSE Sensex fell 49 points or 0.25 percent to 19,733, while the broader Nifty index ended on a flat note. The Indian rupee was last trading weak at 63.64 versus Thursday's close of 63.50/51 per dollar. Ahead of its monetary policy review on September 20, the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday constituted an expert committee to examine the current monetary policy framework and recommend ways to make it more transparent and predictable.
IT stocks like Infosys and HCL Technologies lost 1-3 percent, cement manufacturer UltraTech retreated 2.3 percent, private sector lender HDFC Bank declined a percent and telecom major Bharti Airtel shed 0.8 percent.
Reliance Industries eased half a percent amid reports it may attract $781-million additional penalty for the shortfall in natural gas production from its flagging KG-D6 field in 2012-13.
Mahindra & Mahindra, which crossed a sales milestone of four lakh units for its iconic and trend-setting Scorpio earlier this week, rose 2.2 percent. JSW Steel gained 1.8 percent on reporting a 29 percent jump in crude steel production for August.
MTNL rallied 3.6 percent on reports a Group of Ministers, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, has decided to refund the money paid by the company for returning broadband wireless access spectrum.
NHPC soared 6.2 percent on speculation the state-run hydro power producer will announce a share buyback soon. Tata Power and Adani Power rose 2-3 percent on expectations of revision in electricity tariffs.
Indian Hotels advanced 2.1 percent after announcing plans to rejig its international businesses. Power Grid Corp rose 1.2 percent after unveiling capital expenditure plans.
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