Indian Stocks Drop, Pare Monthly Advance, on Valuation Concern

Indian (SENSEX) stocks fell, paring a third monthly gain for the benchmark index, amid concerns the recent rally to a two-year high has made valuations expensive.

The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, slid 0.5 percent to 19,898.94, according to preliminary closing prices at 3:30 p.m. in Mumbai. Volumes on the gauge were 29 percent higher than the 30-day average. Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), the owner of the world’s largest refining complex, dropped 1.4 percent. Tata Power Co., the nation’s largest non-state-run generator, sank 2.4 percent. ICICI Bank Ltd. (ICICIBC), the biggest private lender, fell even as earnings beat estimates.

Traders rolled over fewer contracts in the S&P CNX Nifty Index (NIFTY) futures this month amid concern over stock valuations. Open interest, or the number of outstanding contracts in Nifty index futures, totaled 450,193 at 3:30 p.m. That compares with 550,713 on Dec. 27, when the December series expired, the data show. Derivative contracts in India expire on the last Thursday of each month.

The Sensex trades at 15.8 times estimated earnings, the highest since February 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with a multiple of 11 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shikhar Balwani in Mumbai at sbalwani@bloomberg.net; Santanu Chakraborty in Mumbai at schakrabor11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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