India’s benchmark stock index fell the most in two weeks, led by technology stocks, after sales at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. missed estimates.
Tata Consultancy, the nation’s biggest company by market value, had its largest drop in more than two years. The S&P BSE India Infotech Index of 10 software companies fell the most in three months. ICICI Bank Ltd. slid the most in a week, sending a gauge of lenders to a second day of declines.
The S&P BSE Sensex retreated 1 percent to 21,063.62 at the close, the most since Jan. 2. For the week, the index rose 1.5 percent.
“Some investors are taking money off the table as gains have been big in software stocks,” Mehraboon Irani, principal and head of the private client group at Mumbai-based Nirmal Bang Securities Ltd., said in a phone interview.
India’s top technology companies, which get most of their sales from abroad, were among the five best performers on the Sensex in 2013 as an economic recovery in developed nations and a weak rupee improved the outlook for exporters. Tata Consultancy soared 73 percent last year, the most among the all Sensex companies, and trades at a 14 percent premium to the Infotech index, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Tata Consultancy dropped 5.8 percent, the most since Oct. 18, 2011. Sales rose 33 percent to 212.9 billion rupees ($3.47 billion), the company said yesterday after the market closed. That lagged behind the 214.2 billion-rupee median of analysts’ estimates. Chief Executive Officer N. Chandrasekaran said he expects little growth for the company in India, where sales fell 9 percent, for the next two quarters.
The Infotech index lost 2.6 percent, the most since Oct. 17. It surged 60 percent in 2013.
ICICI Bank, Wipro
ICICI Bank retreated 2.3 percent, the most since Jan. 10. HDFC Bank Ltd. fell for a second day after its earnings of 23.3 billion rupees for the December quarter matched estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
Among other Sensex constituents announcing results for the December quarter, Wipro Ltd. slipped 3.3 percent, the steepest drop in three months. India’s third-largest software exporter reported profit of 20.1 billion rupees, matching estimates, in results released after the close of trading. The stock surged 59 percent in 2013.
Reliance Industries Ltd., owner of the world’s largest refinery complex, ended a seven-day, 5.2 percent rally. The company will report earnings today after posting its slowest profit growth in four quarters for the period ended Sept. 30.
ITC Ltd. dropped after India’s largest cigarette producer reported 17 percent gain in net income to 23.9 billion rupees, the slowest pace in five years. Earnings were in line with 23.6-billion rupee median estimate of 27 analysts.
Global investors bought a net $91 million of local shares on Jan. 16, 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 CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. slid 0.9 percent to 6,261.65.