Sensex ends flat on services PMI; earnings key

A broker monitors a screen displaying live stock quotes on the floor of a trading firm in Mumbai
A broker monitors a screen displaying live stock quotes on the floor of a trading firm in Mumbai May 23, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files

By Abhishek Vishnoi

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex ended flat on Friday after a HSBC survey showing an index of activity at domestic services companies fell at the fastest pace in more than four years cut short a rally this week that had sent indexes to their highest in nearly two weeks.

The HSBC Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, slipped last month to its weakest since April 2009, suggesting the slowdown in Asia's third-largest economy still has some way to run, a survey showed on Friday.

Traders were also cautious ahead of the September-quarter earnings with Infosys Ltd(NSI:INFY.NS - News) announcing its results on October 11. They expect weak macro data points including slow growth and inflation to continue to weigh on Indian companies.

Also, the U.S. government shutdown and looming debt deadline in the United States kept the dollar pinned at an eight-month low on Friday and drove world shares towards a second week of losses.

"The market is discounting most of the positives, but the risks related to earnings and U.S. debt ceiling are not yet factored," said Dipen Shah, head of Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.

The Sensex rose 0.07 percent, or 13.88 points, to end at 19,915.95, marking its third consecutive day of gains, also ending 0.95 percent higher for the week.

The Nifty fell 0.04 percent, or 2.40 points, to end at 5,907.30, while ending 1.3 percent higher for the week.

Tata Motors Ltd(NSI:TATAMOTORS) shares gained 1.2 percent after Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral" and raised its target price to 400 rupees from 275, citing an improving global economy.

Software services exporters gained on bets for an improving business outlook in key markets. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd(NSI:TCS.NS - News) rose 0.4 percent and Tech Mahindra Ltd(NSI:TECHM.NS - News) ended 2 percent higher.

Tata Communications Ltd(NSI:TATACOMM.NS - News) rose 2.4 percent, gaining for the third day, on a potential takeover of its unit Neotel by South Africa's Vodacom Group(JNB:VOD).

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd(NSI:GLENMARK.NS - News) rose 3.2 percent, marking its eighth day of gains after a slew of key drug approvals and its inclusion in the National Stock Exchange's derivatives market.

Jet Airways (India) Ltd(NSI:JETAIRWAYS) shares ended 0.8 percent lower on profit-taking after earlier rising as much as 7.2 percent, after India's cabinet approved on Thursday a $330 million deal by Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways to buy a stake in the company.

Among other stocks that fell, Infosys lost 0.7 percent on caution ahead of its July-September earnings later next week.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd(NSI:HINDUNILVR) fell 0.5 percent, marking its third day of declines, after its parent company Unilever(LSE:ULVR.L - News) (AEX:UNA.AS - News) warned that a slowdown in its emerging markets accelerated in the third quarter.

(Editing by Anand Basu)