Indian stocks fell for a sixth day, the longest losing streak since November, after the government forecast the weakest economic growth in a decade.
The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, fell 0.3 percent to 19,588.16, according to preliminary closing prices. Cipla Ltd., India’s third-biggest drugmaker, declined 2.7 percent to a two-week low. Utility NTPC Ltd. lost 2.5 percent, the lowest price since June, as the government sold $2.1 billion of shares in the company, the largest offering since March.
Gross domestic product may grow 5 percent in the 12 months through March 31, below last year’s 6.2 percent and the least since 4 percent in 2002-2003, government data showed. Asia’s third-largest economy is in a weaker position than before the global financial crisis and the central bank must refrain from cutting borrowing costs further until inflation is contained, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday.
India’s Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram has vowed to pare the shortfall to damp price pressures, part of a wider policy overhaul since mid-September to revive confidence in Asia’s third-biggest economy.
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