India’s stocks fluctuated. Exporters fell after a U.S. report raised concern about the global economic recovery. Consumer-related shares gained as the International Monetary Fund raised the nation’s growth outlook.
Infosys Techologies Ltd., the second-largest software services provider, lost 0.9 percent. Private payrolls in the U.S. unexpectedly fell, ADP Employer Services reported yesterday. Indian software companies get about half of their sales in the world’s largest economy. Hindustan Unilever Ltd., a household products maker, rose for the first time in four days. Bharti Airtel Ltd., a mobile-phone operator, gained the most in two weeks. The IMF cited strengthening consumer demand for its higher economic expansion forecast.
The Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index, or Sensex, was little changed at 20,534.63 at 1:43 p.m. in Mumbai after swinging between gains and losses at least nine times. The S&P CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange lost 0.1 percent to 6,182.95. The BSE 200 Index advanced 0.2 percent to 2,617.51.
“Opinions are divided between investors who think India’s markets will gain and those who think there will be a correction,” said Gajendra Nagpal, chief executive officer of Unicon Financial Intermediaries Pvt., a brokerage in New Delhi. “Foreigners are more gung-ho about our markets than local investors because they have limited options and India’s growth stands out.”
The Sensex has gained 28 percent from the May 25 low, approaching the record closing high of 20,873.33 on Jan. 8, 2008. The gauge is the best performer this year among the world’s 10 biggest stock markets. The measure climbed 12 percent last month, the most since May 2009.
Infosys declined 0.9 percent to 3,076.5 rupees. Wipro Ltd., India’s third-largest software-services provider, lost 0.6 percent to 462 rupees. U.S. companies cut 39,000 jobs last month. Economists had predicted 20,000 would be added, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
Hindustan Unilever, the maker of Knorr soups and Lux soap, added 0.8 percent to 303.4 rupees. Bharti advanced 1.4 percent to 357.15 rupees.
The South Asian economy will expand 9.7 percent this year, the Washington-based lender said in its World Economic Outlook yesterday, more than the 9.4 percent estimated in July. The IMF lowered its prediction for global expansion to 4.2 percent, from 4.3 percent, citing unemployment, public debt and fragile banking systems.
“Low reliance on exports, accommodative policies, and strong capital inflows have supported domestic activity and growth,” the IMF said in the report. “The rapid pace of domestic activity, evidenced by rapidly rising inflation, led the central bank to increase the repo policy rate.”
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