Indian Stocks Pare Quarterly Loss as Foreigners Turn Net Buyers

  • FIIs plow $3.4b into shares in March, most since March 2014
  • Infosys reaches record while Hindustan Zinc surges on dividend

Most Indian stocks rose, with the benchmark stock-index paring its quarterly decline, as global funds continued to pour money into the nation’s equities.

Infosys Ltd., the second-biggest software exporter, rallied to a record, while rival Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. added 1.2 percent. Hero MotoCorp Ltd. climbed to a 15-month high. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. increased for a second day. Hindustan Zinc Ltd. advanced to a record after the company announced a special dividend.

The S&P BSE Sensex rose less than 0.1 percent after changing direction at least six times in the last hour of trading as the monthly derivatives contracts expired. The index capped its best month since January 2012, as a government pledge to further pare the fiscal gap and speculation of an interest-rate reduction spurred capital inflows. Global funds bought $3.4 billion of local shares this month, the most since March 2014, to erase outflows seen in the first two months of the year. The Reserve Bank of India will review rates April 5.

“Prospect of improving foreign funds inflows and expectations that the RBI will cut rates next week is supporting stocks,” D.K. Aggarwal, chairman of SMC Investments Pvt. in New Delhi, said by phone.

Infosys and Tata Consultancy advanced 1 percent each. Hindustan Zinc surged 4.9 percent to 183.60 rupees. Hero MotoCorp jumped 0.8 percent.

Tumultuous Quarter

The rollover in the March NSE Nifty 50 index futures expiring Thursday was at 64 percent, compared with a six-month average of 69 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The Sensex pared this quarter’s loss to 3 percent, still the biggest since the three-month period ended September. The gauge tumbled into a bear market last month amid a selloff in Asian equities in January and February on concerns over China’s economic growth and the tumbling price of oil. The index jumped 11 percent in March as Asian equities staged a recovery as China markets stabilized, oil rebounded and the Federal Reserve reassured investors it won’t rush to raise borrowing costs.

The Sensex is valued at 15.4 times 12-month projected profits versus 11.9 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

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