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Sensex falls on attack worries

shares fall after starting strongly on Friday on US warnings of likely militant attacks in Mumbai and New Delhi.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2006 14:47 IST

Indian shares fell after starting strongly on Friday on news the US embassy has warned of likely militant attacks in Mumbai and New Delhi leading to the country's Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday.

At 11:40 a.m. (0610 GMT), the top-30 BSE index was down 0.7 per cent at 11,070.26 points, after rising as high as 11,236.37. However in the broader section, gainers beat losers 1,300 to 800 on volume of 78 million shares.

"We have urged US citizens to keep a low profile, be alert and attentive to their surroundings," a spokesman at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi said.

"We have learnt that foreign terrorists may carry out attacks in or around New Delhi and Mumbai."

Traders said the news unnerved the market ahead of the weekend.

"There is an air of caution now. We may see a correction if the market closes below 11,000 points on Friday," Jayant Pai, vice-president with Parag Parikh Financial Services Ltd.

The index has held above 11,000 for the fourth day in a row, after breaking through the level for the first time since mid-May on Tuesday.

However, increased construction activity helped middle-level cement firms. Birla Corporation Ltd. was up 1.5 percent at 284 rupees, while India Cements Ltd. rose 0.81 percent to 192.75 rupees.

The 50-share Nifty fell 0.4 percent to 3,245.95.

Elsewhere, Karachi's 100-share index was down 0.64 percent at 10,458.05 points, while Colombo's All-share index was up 0.1 percent at 2,206.82.

Stocks on the move

* Punj Lloyd Ltd. rose 1.32 per cent to 698.15 rupees after the the construction firm said it had won a contract worth 3.21 billion rupees for work on a LNG project in Yemen.

* Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. gained 1.23 per cent to 398 rupees after the drug maker said it would sell a manufacturing facility in the Republic of Ireland.

* Thomas Cook India Ltd. jumped 10 percent to 577 rupees after the travel services firm unveiled an 11-for-20 share swap ratio for acquiring money changer LKP Forex, and announced a plan to buy Thomas Cook Thailand.

Top 3 by volume

* Reliance Communications Ltd. dropped 0.8 per cent on nearly 2 million shares.

* Essar Oil Ltd. rose 4.11 per cent on 1.73 million shares.

* Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd. fell 0.8 per cent as 1.42 million shares changed hands.