Most stocks on India's benchmark index dropped for the second day as investors weighed the strength of profit growth against measures to stem inflation.
ICICI Bank and Tata Power led the declines. Larsen & Toubro climbed the most in a week after saying it aims to double orders outside India.
The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, fell 17.59, or 0.1 per cent, to 18,726.97 at the 3:30pm close in Mumbai. Three stocks fell for every two that climbed. The index swung between gains and losses at least 10 times. The measure gained 5 per cent in the two-week period ended July 1. The S&P CNX Nifty Index retreated 0.1 per cent to 5,625.45 and its July futures settled at 5,636. The BSE 200 Index lost 0.1 per cent.
"Investors see no point in being aggressive ahead of the corporate earnings season," said Ashish Chaturmohta, vice-president of derivatives and technical analysis at IIFL Private Wealth Management Ltd. in Mumbai. "Some investors are seeing the recent rally as an opportunity to exit rather than go long at these levels." The Nifty may slide below 5,400 if there's "more negative news from the domestic front and Greece."
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Housing Development Finance advanced 1.5 per cent to Rs710.9, its highest close since April 28. The lender will be the first Sensex company to report June quarter earnings on Friday. Kisan Ratilal Choksey Shares and Securities said the 77 companies under its coverage may post an average 14.9 per cent gain in profit for the period.