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.
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