Singapore: India’s equity benchmark broke its best stretch of weekly gains since April, as investors assessed the outlook after the central bank yesterday cut its economic forecast and unexpectedly kept interest rates unchanged.
The S&P BSE Sensex Index declined 0.8% to 40,445.15 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Mumbai. The gauge fell 0.9% for the week, ending a five-week winning streak. The NSE Nifty 50 Index also fell 0.8% today.
Foreign investors have pumped $13.2 billion in India stocks so this year, exceeding the highest annual inflow since 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Sensex is retreating from a record high close on Nov. 28.
“RBI’s decision to pause on rate cuts is accentuating investors’ concern about economic growth, and therefore we are seeing some selling pressure,” said Chokkalingam G, managing director and founder at Equinomics Research & Advisory in Mumbai. “Selling may continue for some time in highly valued large stocks,” he added.
“Lower lending rates are unlikely to lift growth unless demand and sentiment also improve, perhaps from fiscal measures in the Feb Budget as the RBI appears to suggest,” Jefferies Financial Group Inc. strategists including Somshankar Sinha wrote in a note on Thursday. “India’s extended valuations may already be pricing some of this in, though, leaving us defensive,” the note added.
“The recent decline shows disappointment among the participants post the RBI policy outcome as the majority were hoping for a rate cut,” said Ajit Mishra, vice president of research at Religare Broking Ltd. “Since the Nifty has breached its immediate support at 11,900, we may see further profit taking ahead.”
- Eighteen of 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. rose, led by a gauge of auto stocks.
- Interest rate sensitive stocks including State Bank of India Ltd. and Tata Motors Ltd. were among the top losers on the benchmark.
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