India’s Sensex Declines for Second Day as Lenders Retreat

Indian stocks dropped, with the benchmark index falling for the second day, as shares of banks and metal producers declined.

State Bank of India Ltd., the nation’s biggest lender, decreased the most in more than a month. The 13-member S&P BSE Bankex index dropped for the third day, paring last month’s 19 percent surge. Copper producer Sesa Sterlite Ltd. fell 1.8 percent. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. rose the most since Oct. 25 after Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. forecast a jump in annual revenue.

The S&P BSE Sensex lost 0.4 percent to 20,894.94 at the close in Mumbai, reversing an earlier 0.3 percent gain. The index dropped for a second day after rallying to a record on Nov. 3 in a special Diwali holiday trading session. The measure rallied 19 percent from this year’s low on Aug. 21 through Nov. 3, boosted by foreign inflows and better-than-expected earnings.

“We expect the markets to consolidate at current levels,” Alex Mathews, the head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd., said in an interview from Kollam in southern India. “Some profit-booking is not ruled out in banking and metal shares, as they had rallied a lot.”

State Bank decreased 3.5 percent, taking this year’s loss to 24 percent. HDFC Bank Ltd., the biggest lender by market value, retreated 1.1 percent, while ICICI Bank Ltd. fell 1.4 percent. The Bankex Index declined 1.9 percent to a one-week low.

Sesa Sterlite lost 1.8 percent, trimming October’s 12 percent advance. Tata Steel Ltd., the biggest producer of the alloy, fell 1.7 percent, while aluminum maker Hindalco Industries Ltd. dropped 2.1 percent.

Tech Stocks

Tata Consultancy, India’s largest software services exporter, rose 2.4 percent. Infosys Ltd., the second-biggest, gained 1.2 percent. The S&P BSE Infotech Index added 1.4 percent, the biggest increase since Oct. 25.

Cognizant, the Teaneck, New Jersey-based company that pays more than a quarter of its costs in rupees, said yesterday that sales would grow 20 percent to at least $8.84 billion in 2013.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. fell 1.3 percent. The power equipment maker reported net income of 4.56 billion rupees ($73 million) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with the median 8.05 billion-rupee estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Net incomes at 16 of the 20 companies in the Sensex that have posted results so far exceeded analyst projections, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. About 47 percent of the 30 companies in the index missed forecasts in the previous quarter.

International investors were net purchasers of Indian stocks for the 22nd consecutive day on Nov. 2, the longest buying streak since May, according to data from the market regulator today. Foreign funds bought $4.92 billion of the nation’s shares in the two months through Oct. 31.

The Sensex has risen 7.6 percent this year and trades at 13.8 times projected 12-month profits, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s 10.6 times.

The CNX Nifty Index fell 0.6 percent to 6,215.15.

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