U.S. Natural Gas Futures Drop Below $3 for First Time Since 2012

India’s Sensex Climbs as Consumer, Energy Shares Extend Advance

Indian (SENSEX) stock climbed for a second day amid buying in consumer and energy shares.

The S&P BSE Sensex added 0.4 percent to 20,018.49 at 9:47 a.m. in Mumbai. The measure’s 50-day volatility index rose to the highest level since April 9, 2012. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUVR) and cigarette maker ITC Ltd. (ITC) extended gains to records. Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), the nation’s biggest explorer, advanced for a third day, the longest winning streak since May 29.

Some investors may be switching to consumer stocks from industries like banking and financial services, which are more likely to be affected by slowing economic growth, according to Suniil Pachisia, vice president at Pratibhuti Viniyog Ltd. The S&P BSE FMCG Index headed to an all-time high even as the S&P BSE Bankex, a gauge of 13 lenders, was bound for a 10-month low.

Hindustan Unilever increased 2.1 percent to 699.65 rupees, extending yesterday’s 9.9 percent jump. ITC rose 0.1 percent to 368.6 rupees, its fourth day of gains. The two stocks together have a 16 percent weighting in the Sensex. Oil & Natural Gas jumped 2.7 percent to 309.01 rupees.

The Sensex has gained 3 percent this year and trades at 13.5 times projected 12-month earnings, the most expensive since May 30. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is valued at 10 times.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at

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