India’s Sensex Drops for Fifth Day, Led by Lenders, Industrials

India’s benchmark stock index fell for a fifth day, led by lenders and industrial companies.

The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 0.2 percent to 19,627.95, according to preliminary closing prices. ICICI Bank Ltd., the third-biggest lender by assets, dropped to the lowest since Dec. 31. Larsen & Toubro Ltd., India’s biggest engineering company, retreated to near a five-month low.

The Sensex has climbed 1.1 percent in 2013, after a 26 percent rally last year, as foreign funds bought shares amid government efforts to reduce subsidies, allow higher foreign investment in retailing and aviation, and hasten infrastructure projects in a bid to revive economic growth.

Overseas funds have bought a net $4.74 billion of domestic shares this year, a record for the period, data compiled by Bloomberg show. They bought a net $24.5 billion last year, the most among 10 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg, excluding China, helping the Sensex to its biggest annual gain since 2009.

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

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

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