Indian shares inched lower on Tuesday as gains in metals and energy stocks were outweighed by losses in banks after the central bank said domestic lenders might see bad loans double.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index slipped 0.1% to 14,473 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex eased 0.25% to 49,143.75 by 0505 GMT.
Banks were the top losers, with the Nifty bank index shedding 0.74% and the Nifty private bank index declining 0.6%.
Late on Monday, the Financial Stability and Development Council said in a report that the gross non-performing assets of Indian banks might increase from 7.5% in September 2020 to 14.8% under a severe stress scenario.
“Markets are trying to consolidate… Investors will take cues from (corporate) results until the union budget,” said Gaurav Garg, head of research at CapitalVia Global Research.
“The financial stability report is definitely a red flag for banks. The impact might be more on public sector banks compared to private banks.”
Shares of Gail (India) Ltd rose 5.8% to a 15-month high of 143.5 rupees after the state-owned gas distribution firm said it would consider a proposal to buy back shares.
Tata Motors rose 6.9%, buoyed by a double-digit increase in China sales of its luxury car unit Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
Indian investors now await retail inflation data due later in the day, with a Reuters poll predicting it fell sharply last month, landing within the Reserve Bank of India’s target range.
Meanwhile, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3% after touching an all-time high on Monday.