Indian shares for second session fell on Monday as a drop in cement makers offset gains in metals shares at the start of a week in which the central bank is expected to deliver another rate hike.
The NSE Nifty 50 Index (.NSEI) closed down 0.09% at 16,569.55 and the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) fell 0.17% to 55,675.32, both falling for the second consecutive session.
The market has seen volatile moves in the past week as concerns about stubbornly high inflation mount, with the Reserve Bank of India expected to follow up its unscheduled rate hike in May with another move at the meeting on Wednesday politics.
“There is nervousness in the market ahead of the rate decision amid the pain of high inflation,” said Saurabh Jain, deputy vice president of SMC Securities.
“We’re also seeing supersonic volatility and it’s hard for market participants to make up their minds with so many variables moving in both directions.”
At the close on Monday, cement manufacturers were among the main obstacles. Shree Cement (SHCM.NS) fell 3.4% to its lowest level in over a year and a half, while sector leader UltraTech Cement (ULTC.NS) fell 1.8% to a 16-year low months.
Shares of cement companies are under pressure as competition in the sector increases. Last week, UltraTech Cement announced, it would spend $1.66 billion to increase capacity in order to stave off competition from industry newcomer Adani Group.
Battered tech stocks (.NIFTYIT) closed down 0.2% after falling more than 2% earlier in the session.
Spicejet (SPJT.NS) fell 2.7% to a 20-month low after it said the country’s aviation regulator had imposed a penalty on the budget airline.
Limiting losses, metal shares in the Nifty Index (.NIFTYMET) were up 1.12%. The gains were supported by a jump in iron ore futures to a 10-month high on hopes of improving demand.
Auto stocks (.NIFTYAUTO) closed 0.2% higher, boosted by a 4.2% rise in Bajaj Auto (BAJA.NS).