Indian shares dip as tech losses outweigh gains in automaker stocks

BENGALURU, June 23 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged lower on Wednesday as losses in information technology stocks outweighed gains in automakers, with investors also booking profits and adjusting their equity positions ahead of the expiry of monthly contracts for June.

By 0711 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.19% at 15,742.90, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.22% to 52,474.08.

Declining COVID-19 cases, easing of pandemic-induced restrictions in several states and a recent record surge in daily vaccinations have helped both the indexes scale all-time highs this month.

Crossing the 15,900-mark for the Nifty “is like an uncharted territory” for the market, said Rahul Sharma, head of research at Equity99 in Mumbai.

That’s why there was some resistance on Tuesday and Wednesday, and expect some more volatility ahead of Thursday’s expiry for the monthly contracts of June, he added.

In Mumbai trading, the Nifty IT index fell 0.65%. Software services firm Wipro fell 2.1% and was the top percentage loser on the Nifty 50.

Conglomerate Reliance Industries was the top drag on the Nifty 50, falling 0.6% ahead of its annual general meeting on Thursday.

Automaker stocks cushioned the losses in the market, with India’s largest motorcycle maker Hero MotoCorp gaining 2.1%. The company said it would increase prices of its motorcycles and scooters from July 1.

Maruti Suzuki was the top boost to the Nifty 50, rising 2.5%. Jefferies said on Tuesday in a research note that India’s auto demand was recovering again.

Among global markets, Wall Street’s Nasdaq index ended at a record high overnight, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7%, as Fed chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed the central bank’s intent to keep an eye on inflation and not hasten to hike rates. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)