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India Nifty Futures Gain After Benchmarks Decline to 2-Week Low

May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Indian stock-index futures gained after benchmark indexes dropped to a two-week low.

SGX CNX Nifty Index futures for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to 6,753 at 9:41 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying CNX Nifty Index fell 0.3 percent to 6,696.40 on April 30, a fourth day of losses. The S&P BSE Sensex lost 0.2 percent to the lowest level since April 16. Indian markets were shut yesterday for a public holiday. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.-traded shares declined 0.1 percent yesterday.

The Sensex has dropped for four straight days since climbing to a record on April 23 amid an election that opinion polls suggest will hand power to the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, ending the Congress Party’s decade-long rule. Results are due on May 16.

“India has experienced a strong pre-election rally,” Vinod Nair, head of fundamental research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd., wrote in an e-mail. “Further momentum will depend on the outcome, which is still some time away.”

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress party may be headed for its worst-ever electoral performance as voters punish the government for a series of graft scandals, Asia’s fastest consumer inflation and slowing growth. The BJP is favored by investors seeking change to revive an economy expanding at close to the slowest pace in a decade.

International investors bought a net $124.7 million of Indian shares on April 29, a seventh straight day of purchases. That took this year’s inflows to $5.2 billion, the second highest among eight Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg, after Taiwan.

The Sensex has climbed 5.9 percent this year and trades at 14.1 times projected 12-month profits. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has dropped 0.5 percent in 2014 and is valued at 10.4 times.

Reliance Communications Ltd. may report fourth-quarter profit sank 47 percent from a year earlier to 1.6 billion rupees ($26.7 million), according to the median estimate of 13 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at mpatterson10@bloomberg.net Matthew Oakley, Chan Tien Hin

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