Markets turn negative; IT shares decline

Markets turned negative in late trades with IT shares leading the decline on profit taking after recent gains.

At 2:50pm, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 39 points at 25,805 and the Nifty50 was down 22 points at 7,893.

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IT majors Infosys, TCS and Wipro were down 1%-2% each.

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(Updated at 13:35pm)

Benchmark indices continue to trade in a narrow range with positive bias led by buying demand among financials after reports suggest that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has trimmed the list of debt-laden companies for loan provisioning in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2016.

However, the upside is capped due to selling among IT, select auto and index heavyweight ITC.

At 13:35 pm, the S&P BSE Sensex is up 110 points to quote at 25,955 and the Nifty has gained 22 points to trade at 7,936. Broader markets are underperforming the benchmark indices- BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices are down marginally.

On the global front, Asian shares reached a 5-1/2-month high on Thursday as oil prices rallied over 4% overnight thanks to a smaller than expected increase in US crude inventories and abiding hopes that producers may eventually agree ways to ease a global glut.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.8%, brushing its highest since early November.  Japan's Nikkei gained 2.6%. Australian shares rose 0.9% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.8%. Shanghai rose 0.4%.

Back home, banking stocks mainly public sector undertakings (PSU) have rallied by up to 8% on the bourses after a media report suggests that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has trimmed the list of debt-laden companies for loan provisioning in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2016.

Among the individual banks, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has soared 8% to Rs 91, followed by Oriental Bank of Commerce (Rs 100), Bank of Baroda (Rs 162) and Allahabad Bank (Rs 62) rallied 6% each on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

State Bank of India (SBI), Union Bank of India, Canara Bank, Bank of India, Andhra Bank and Syndicate Bank were up 4%-6%.

Wipro has dipped around 7% after the company reported a flat consolidated net profit at Rs 2,235 crore against average analyst’s estimate of Rs 2,354 crore for the quarter ended March 2016 (Q4FY16). Consolidated revenues grew 6% at Rs 13,742 crore on sequential basis.

Among other shares, Bharti Infratel has slipped by 4% following reports that Airtel is looking to sell 5% stake in the tower unit through an open market trade deal to raise about Rs 3,500-Rs 4,000 crore.

Shares of VST Industries were up 3% at Rs 1,751 on the Bombay Stock Exchange after the company announced robust net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2016.

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