Indian shares close lower

MUMBAI - Indian shares closed slightly lower Wednesday after clawing back from intraday losses on reports of a possible economic stimulus package to aid the auto and cement sectors, dealers said.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 11 Feb 2009, 8:58 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:55 AM

The benchmark 30-share Sensex index closed down 0.3 percent or 28.93 points at 9,618.54, snapping three days of gains.

“The markets recovered smartly from intraday lows on reports that the government was working on an economic stimulus package for key sectors,” said Hiten Mehta, a fund manager at Fortune Financial Services.

Dealers said they also expected India’s central bank to possibly announce further rate cuts to boost economic growth.

India’s growth is expected to slow to 7.1 percent in the current fiscal year—the lowest rate for six years and down from nine percent in 2007-08, according to official estimates.

Shares in fraud-hit Satyam rose 6.67 percent or 2.95 rupees to 47.15 on media reports that the company will pay staff salaries for February and would receive bank loans in coming days.

Satyam is set to announce its long-term strategic plan, including a possible buyer next week.

In Wednesday’s trade, gainers led losers 1,263 to 1,138 on turnover of 32.8 billion rupees (671 million dollars).

The rupee fell against the dollar to 48.82 from 48.70 and also against the euro to 63.07 from 62.54.

The rupee has been under pressure against the dollar for several months as funds have moved money into assets regarded as safer havens.

India’s largest private sector bank ICICI Bank rose 7.3 rupees or 1.71 percent to 435.4 on hopes of a further interest rate cut by India’s central bank.

India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India, rose 24.35 rupees or four percent to 632.55 on hopes of a package from the government to boost growth.

The world’s sixth-largest steel maker Tata Steel fell 21 rupees or 3.73 percent to 541.5 after global leader ArcelorMittal swung to a fourth-quarter net loss of 2.63 billion dollars from a net profit of 2.44 billion dollars a year earlier.

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