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Most Indian Stocks Decline as Energy Companies, Automakers Drop

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Most Indian stocks declined, with the benchmark index retreating from a five-week high, as energy companies and automakers fell.

Oil & Natural Gas Corp. had the biggest drop in a week, ending a six-day, 4.5 percent rally in the S&P BSE India Oil & Gas Index. Tata Motors Ltd., owner of Jaguar Land Rover, and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. slid at least 1.4 percent. Bharti Airtel Ltd. posted its biggest decline in more than four months after Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded the stock.

About six shares fell for every two that rose on the S&P BSE 100 Index, which lost 0.1 percent. The S&P BSE Sensex slid 0.1 percent to 21,265.18. The gauge jumped yesterday after data showed inflation slowed more than economists estimated in December, giving the central bank scope to maintain interest rates for a second consecutive meeting later this month. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan left the key rate unchanged at 7.75 percent on Dec. 18.

“Stocks are consolidating after having factored in lower inflation and an improvement in earnings outlook,” Jitendra Panda, the Mumbai-based head of broking at Capital First Ltd., said by phone from Mumbai. “This trend will continue until the RBI policy announcement” on Jan. 28, he said.

Oil & Natural Gas decreased 1.7 percent, the most in a week. Tata Motors lost 2 percent to 369.75 rupees. Mahindra lost 1.4 percent, ending three days of gains.

Telecom Downgrades

Bharti Airtel tumbled 4.8 percent, the most since Sept. 3. Idea Cellular Ltd., which was also downgraded by Credit Suisse, plunged 7.2 percent, its steepest retreat since May 2010.

HDFC Bank Ltd., the nation’s biggest lender by market value, lost 1.1 percent. Cigarette maker ITC Ltd., which has the second-highest weighting in the Sensex, lost 1 percent.

Global investors bought a net $125.4 million of domestic shares on Jan. 15, data from the regulator show. They invested $20 billion last year, the most in Asia after Japan, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Net purchases in 2012 were $24.6 billion, the data show.

The Sensex has risen 0.5 percent this year. It climbed 9 percent in 2013, capping the best annual gain among the four-largest emerging markets, and trades at 13.3 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s 10 times.

The CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. fell less than 0.1 percent to 6,318.90.

To contact the reporters on this story: Santanu Chakraborty in Mumbai at schakrabor11@bloomberg.net; 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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