India’s Nifty Futures Slump as Rupee Extends Slide Amid Outflows

Indian stock-index futures declined after the rupee extended a record slump amid concern capital outflows will accelerate.

SGX CNX Nifty Index futures for August delivery fell 1.5 percent to 5,231 at 9:20 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying CNX Nifty (NIFTY) Index sank 3.5 percent to 5,287.45 yesterday. The S&P BSE Sensex tumbled 3.2 percent to its lowest level since Aug. 21. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.-traded shares plunged 3.8 percent, the biggest loss since June 20. The rupee slumped the most since 1996 to a record low 66.19 per dollar yesterday, while one-month rupee forwards lost as much as 2.3 percent to an all-time low 68.24 today.

The rupee has depreciated 17 percent this year, worsening the impact of rising oil prices, making imports costlier and adding pressure on India’s balance of payments at a time when the economy is growing at the slowest pace in a decade and the prospect of a cut in U.S. stimulus is fueling fund outflows. International investors were net sellers of Indian (SENSEX) stocks for a sixth day on Aug. 26, data showed yesterday.

“This is entirely our own making,” Rahul Chadha, co-chief investment officer at Mirae Asset Global Investments Hong Kong Ltd., which has $40 billion in equities, said on Bloomberg TV India yesterday. “We were enjoying huge foreign institutional investor inflows and today when we have seen a little bit of an outflow, the rupee has become so shaky.”

Syria Concerns

Foreign investors sold a net $86.1 million of Indian shares on Aug. 26, according to data from the regulator. That pared this year’s net inflow to $11.8 billion, still the second-highest among 10 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg.

Asian stocks fell for a second day amid concerns the U.S. will take military action against Syria. The U.S. said on Aug. 26 President Barack Obama will hold Syria accountable for using chemical weapons against its people, fanning concern unrest in the region will disrupt fuel supplies.

Brent crude has increased 6.9 percent in August, heading for the largest monthly advance in a year, boosting costs for India, which buys almost 80 percent of its oil abroad. India is also the world’s top buyer of gold, which has gained 15 percent this quarter.

Dollar-based investors have lost 25 percent from Sensex shares in 2013, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The index has lost 7.5 percent this year and trades at 12.9 times projected 12-month earnings. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is trading at 9.8 times.

The Sensex’s 30-day volatility measure, a gauge of price swings, rose to 22.6 yesterday, the highest level since January 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Shares of Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), India’s largest state-owned energy explorer, may be active after the company said it plans to sell its 25 percent stake in a Gujarat petrochemical project. ONGC has appointed Ernst & Young to find a buyer, K.S. Jamestin, the company’s business development director, said in phone interview yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rajhkumar K Shaaw in Mumbai at rshaaw@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at mpatterson10@bloomberg.net

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