Indian shares subdued; telecom stocks in focus ahead of cabinet meeting

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares were muted on Wednesday as losses in automakers and technology firms offset gains in financial and telecom stocks, with investors awaiting the outcome of a cabinet meeting where it could propose measures to support the telecom sector.

FILE PHOTO: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building is seen in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.05% at 17,353.40 by 0503 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.04% to 58,255.

“The market is moving nowhere. So, I guess this is a kind of a sector rotation and consolidation in the broader market,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president at SMC Securities in New Delhi.

The Nifty Bank and Private Bank index snapped three sessions of losses and were up 0.48% and 0.60%, respectively.

Telecom stocks are on investors’ radar, with the country’s telecom department — among measures to improve health of the debt-laden sector — has proposed a four-year moratorium on adjusted gross revenue and spectrum payments besides a reduction in spectrum usage charge, prospectively, according to a report here in the Economic Times.

The proposals may be presented to the cabinet for approval later in the day, the report said.

Bharti Airtel Ltd hit a record high of 683.80 rupees, while peer Vodafone Idea Ltd surged as much as 7.9% to be up nearly 20% so far this week.

Traders are also eyeing ratings agency S&P Global Ratings’ forecast on India’s economy due later in the day.

Among other stocks and sectors, the Nifty IT index was down 0.5%. IT major Wipro extended losses to a second day and was down 1%.

The Nifty Auto index inched 0.28% lower and carmaker Maruti Suzuki India was down 0.9% after it logged a 8.2% drop in production in August.

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