India Nifty Index Futures Gain, Signaling Equities May Advance

Indian (SENSEX) stock-index futures gained, signaling a climb in the nation’s benchmark equity indexes.

SGX S&P CNX Nifty Index futures for January delivery rose 0.4 percent to 6,024.5 at 10:10 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying S&P CNX Nifty (NIFTY) Index on the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. lost 0.5 percent to 5,971.50 yesterday. The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, fell 0.4 percent to 19,666.59. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.-traded shares rose 1.2 percent, the most in a week.

Infosys Ltd. (INFO), the nation’s second-largest software maker, begins the earnings reporting season for Sensex companies tomorrow, while the government releases industrial output data for November on the same day. India has some room to lower interest rates as inflation eases, a central bank adviser said yesterday.

“The next trigger for the Indian markets may be the outcome of factory output data and the corporate earnings of Infosys,” Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd., wrote in an e-mail yesterday.

Infosys may report net income of 22.45 billion rupees ($408 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, according to the median estimate of 28 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. That compares with 23.7 billion rupees in the same quarter last year.

Industrial output may have expanded 0.2 percent in November, according to the median estimate of 30 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Production grew 8.2 percent in October, the fastest pace in more than a year.

Rate Cut

The RBI signaled last month that it may cut borrowing costs at the Jan. 29 policy review after inflation cooled to a 10- month low in November, while holding above 7 percent.

“They have some room to cut rates,” Ashima Goyal, a member of the Reserve Bank of India’s technical advisory committee, which makes recommendations to Governor Duvvuri Subbarao, said in an interview yesterday. “They won’t be very aggressive.”

Overseas funds were net buyers of Indian stocks for an eighth consecutive day on Jan. 8, buying a net $164 million of shares, according to data from the market regulator. Foreigners have bought a net $1.24 billion of Indian stocks so far this year, the highest among 10 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg, excluding China and more than three times the level at the same time in 2012.

The Sensex trades at 15.6 times estimated earnings, the highest reading since March. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is valued at 10.9 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Sensex jumped 26 percent in 2012, its biggest annual gain since 2009, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opened the economy to more foreign investments in the past four months to boost an economy growing at the slowest pace in three years and to avert a downgrade of the country’s credit rating. The steps prompted offshore funds to plow a net $24.5 billion into shares last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rajhkumar K Shaaw in Mumbai at

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

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