Indian Stocks Drop for Fifth Day on Inflation; ITC, Larse

Indian stocks dropped for a fifth day before a report tomorrow that may show inflation quickened last month, reducing the scope for the central bank to loosen monetary policy. Consumer-goods makers lead the declines.

The BSE India Sensitive Index (SENSEX), or Sensex, fell 0.8 percent to 19,208.92, according to preliminary closing prices. Cigarettes-to-hotels group ITC Ltd. (ITC) declined the most in three months after the stock’s “investability” weight was cut by FTSE in its global equity index series. Larsen & Toubro (LT), the biggest engineering company, slid to a two-week low. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUVR) retreated for a second day.

Stocks declined yesterday as data showing consumer-price inflation quickened last month raised concern the central bank may not cut interest rates at a review next week. A report may show tomorrow the wholesale-price index for accelerated to 7.60 percent from 7.45 percent in October, according to a Bloomberg survey. The Reserve Bank of India will keep borrowing costs unchanged on Dec. 18, according to another Bloomberg survey.

Overseas funds were net buyers of local stocks for a 19th straight day on Dec. 11, taking their net purchases in 2012 to $21.4 billion, the most among 10 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg, excluding China, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Santanu Chakraborty in Mumbai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at

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