India’s benchmark stock index fell, halting three weeks of gains, as investors sold riskier assets amid concern a global slowdown will hurt corporate earnings.
Housing Development Finance Corp. (HDFC), the country’s biggest mortgage provider, slid for the third time this week. Asian equities dropped after Standard & Poor’s said it may cut the U.S.’s rating and the Federal Reserve ruled out immediate further bond purchases. The European Banking Authority will release results of the stress tests for 91 banks as part of an effort to reassure investors the region’s banks have sufficient capital. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS), the largest software exporter, rose 2 percent after net income climbed 28 percent, beating estimates, as clients outsourced more computer services.
“I don’t know how Monday morning will look like, the way things stand now, said Gajendra Nagpal, chief executive officer at Unicon Financial Intermediaries Pvt. in New Delhi. ‘‘News from Europe is not going to be very good. People would like to approach next week with as little position as possible.’’
The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 56.28, or 0.3 percent, to 18,561.92 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Mumbai. The gauge shed 1.6 percent this week, its first loss in four weeks. The S&P CNX Nifty Index declined 0.3 percent to 5,581.10 and its July futures settled at 5,591.25. The BSE 200 Index decreased 0.3 percent to 2,307.37.
Housing Development declined 1.4 percent to 693.8 rupees. Bajaj Auto Ltd. (BJAUT), the second-largest motorcycle maker, slid 0.6 percent to 1,422.2 rupees, extending yesterday’s 1.5 percent drop after posting a smaller-than-expected 21 percent gain in first-quarter profit as raw-material costs rose. Infosys Ltd., the second-largest software services provider, shed 0.3 percent to 2,731.35 rupees, falling 8.8 percent in six sessions.
The three are among companies on the Sensex whose earnings have lagged behind estimates.
‘‘Corporate earnings are not going to be very good in the June quarter as commodities prices, interest rates and inflation were very high,’’ Unicon’s Nagpal said.
Oil & Natural Gas Corp., the largest state explorer, slid 1.6 percent to 278.9 rupees. Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. (RELI), the builder of a mass rapid transit system in Mumbai, fell 1.2 percent to 569.35 rupees.
Tata Motors Ltd. (TTMT), the biggest truckmaker and owner of Jaguar Land Rover, lost 3.3 percent to 1,033.05 rupees, making it the worst-performing auto company on the Sensex this year. Hero Honda Motors Ltd. (HH), the biggest motorcycle maker, lost 1.2 percent to 1,828.3 rupees. It has lost 3.9 percent this week.
Tata Consultancy jumped 2 percent to 1,146.05 rupees and its July futures settled 1,148.05 rupees. Net income jumped 28 percent to 23.8 billion rupees ($535 million) in the quarter ended June. A Bloomberg News survey of 21 analysts estimated a 23 percent jump in profit to 22.6 billion rupees.
The company said it continues to see strong demand for its computer services because global economic uncertainty prompts customers to adapt and outsource more work. It gets as much as 90 percent of its sales from Europe and the Americas.
‘‘The macro uncertainty is real and it’s not going to go away in the near future,” Chief Executive Officer N. Chandrasekaran said yesterday. “Everybody is getting adjusted to the operating environment but staying pretty much focused on what they have to do. That is driving opportunities.”
Wipro Ltd. (WPRO), the third-biggest software services provider, climbed 0.8 percent to 414.8 rupees, halting a four-day 4.6 percent slide.
The Sensex has declined 9.5 percent this year, the second- worst performer among key indexes in the world’s 10 biggest markets, amid rate increases. Companies on the measure are valued at 15 times estimated earnings, compared with 11 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
Overseas investors bought a net 3.38 billion rupees ($76 million) of Indian stocks on July 14, raising total investment in equities this year to 91.5 billion rupees, according to data on the website of the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
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