Indian stock-index futures dropped after minutes from the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee’s last meeting signaled stimulus may be reduced in coming months.
SGX CNX Nifty Index futures for November delivery lost 0.5 percent to 6,097 at 10:25 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying CNX Nifty (NIFTY) Index slid 1.3 percent to 6,122.90 yesterday, the biggest loss since Sept. 30. The S&P BSE Sensex declined 1.2 percent, the most since Nov. 5. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.-traded shares fell 1.1 percent.
The Sensex slumped in the last hour of trading as investors closed positions before the release of the Fed minutes. The Fed’s $85 billion monthly bond-buying program has fueled inflows into Indian stocks. Foreign funds have purchased $17.2 billion of the nation’s shares this year, the highest inflow after Japan among 10 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg.
International investors bought a net $155.6 million of local shares on Nov. 19, a 31st straight day of purchases and the longest consecutive inflow since the 35 days through Feb. 15, according to data from the market regulator.
Indian (SENSEX) shares also dropped yesterday after the rupee snapped a four-day gain on speculation oil importers stepped up purchases of the dollar, countering inflows into stocks. One-month rupee forwards weakened for a second day today, losing 0.4 percent to 63.30 per dollar.
Shares of Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), owner of the world’s largest refining complex, may be active. The company has been fined an additional $792 million by the government for lower-than-targeted gas output from its KG-D6 block, according to a Press Trust of India report that cited an unnamed oil ministry official. That would take total production-shortfall penalties imposed on Reliance to $1.8 billion.
The Sensex has gained 6.2 percent this year and trades at 13.5 times projected 12-month profits, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s 10.6 times.
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