India’s Sensex Drops, Ending Two-Day Gain; ICICI Bank Retreats

Indian stocks declined before the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting today, and as foreigners sold local shares for a fourth day

The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.3 percent to 19,262.43 at 9:57 a.m. in Mumbai, ending a two-day, 2.7 percent climb. ICICI Bank Ltd. (ICICIBC) paced losses among other lenders. Drugmaker Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. headed for the lowest level in two weeks.

The Sensex has slid 4 percent from May 22 when the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said policy makers may reduce stimulus efforts that have increased flows to emerging markets should the world’s largest economy improve. Foreigners sold a net $467 million of Indian equities in the four days through June 14, the longest series of net sales in two months, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The Reserve Bank of India yesterday left its benchmark repurchase rate unchanged for the first time in four policy reviews and said it would need proof of a “durable” cooling in inflation before lowering rates again.

The Sensex has lost 0.8 percent this year and trades at 13.2 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s 9.8 times. The 50-day volatility on the Indian index climbed to 16.8, the highest since April 2012.

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

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

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