India’s Nifty Futures Drop After Sensex Climbs to All-Time High

India’s Nifty stock-index futures dropped after the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) index climbed to a record yesterday.

SGX CNX Nifty Index futures for January delivery fell 0.2 percent to 6,335 at 10:26 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying CNX Nifty Index rose 0.4 percent to 6,338.95 yesterday. The Sensex also gained 0.4 percent. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.-traded shares added 0.9 percent.

The Sensex reached a record yesterday as an improving global economy boosted the outlook for earnings. All eight companies on the index that have reported profits so far for the quarter ended Dec. 31 have beaten analyst forecasts.

The Reserve Bank of India meets on Jan. 28 to review monetary policy. All 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan will leave the benchmark repurchase rate unchanged. Still, a committee set up by the RBI to strengthen monetary policy recommended setting an inflation target of 4 percent, raising concerns the central bank will need to raise borrowing costs.

“These recommendations clearly carry hawkish implications,” Robert Prior-Wandesforde, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, wrote in a note e-mailed today. “This would imply that Governor Rajan should be raising rates at next week’s meeting, and aggressively so.”

Inflation Battle

Rajan has made the battle against consumer-price increases a priority since taking over the RBI in September. He raised the benchmark repurchase rate twice before leaving it unchanged at 7.75 percent at the last review on Dec. 18.

Wholesale prices rose 6.16 percent in December compared with a year earlier, from a 14-month high of 7.52 percent in November. Consumer prices climbed 9.87 percent, the least in three months, a separate report showed.

Shares of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (LT), India’s largest engineering company, may be active. The company reported after the market closed yesterday that third-quarter net income climbed 11 percent from a year earlier to 12.4 billion rupees ($201 million). That beat the median estimate of 11.7 billion rupees by 33 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Bharat Petroleum Corp. (BPCL), India’s second-biggest state refiner, may move. The company plans to almost double the combined capacity of two refineries at a cost of about $2.8 billion to feed the company’s growing network of gas stations.

International investors bought a net $2.1 million of Indian shares on Jan. 21, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, taking this month’s purchases to $424.6 million. They invested $20 billion last year, the most in Asia after Japan, and $24.6 billion in 2012, the data show.

The Sensex has risen 0.8 percent this year and trades at 13.3 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the five-year average of 14.4 times. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is valued at 9.2 times.

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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