Indian Stocks Fall to Three-Week Low as ICICI Bank, TVS Tumble

  • Sensex erases intraday gain of 1.1% as global stocks decline
  • TVS sinks 10% as margin narrows; ICICI slides for fifth day

Indian stocks tumbled to a three-week low, erasing an earlier advance, amid a selloff in global equities.

TVS Motor Co Ltd. plunged the most since April 2013 after its earnings report. Coal India Ltd. dropped for the first time in three days. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., the biggest power-equipment maker, slid to a three-week low. ICICI Bank Ltd. slide for a fifth day, the longest streak of losses in three months. Steel Authority of India Ltd. lost 2.6 percent.

The S&P BSE Sensex tumbled 0.8 percent to 25,229.70 at the close in Mumbai. The gauge gave up gains of as much as 1.1 percent after the European markets opened. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 1.6 percent in London, and U.S. stock-index futures dropped 0.7 percent. Foreigners sold a net $2.4 million of Indian equities on April 29, trimming this year’s inflows to $1.8 billion.

“Weakness in Europe triggered a selloff in metalmakers and lenders," Lancelot D’Cunha, chief executive officer at Crest Wealth Management Pvt., said by phone from Mumbai. “Markets are likely to consolidate in May as overseas purchases slow."

The Sensex has risen 10 percent from a February low as the risk-on sentiment returned to Asia. Foreign funds bought $585 million of local shares last month, adding to the $1.4 billion inflow in March, which was the most in three years. There’s concern that flows into equities may slow after the Bank of Japan last week held off from adding to its monetary stimulus and the U.S. Federal Reserve kept its benchmark rate unchanged.

Locally, investors are focused on the ongoing quarterly earnings season to look for signs of economic growth filtering through to company bottom lines. Profits have dropped in four of the past five quarters in the worst run since the global financial crisis. So far in this reporting season, six out of 10 Sensex companies that have reported earnings beat or match estimates for the March quarter.

TVS Motor sank 10 percent to its lowest level since March 18. The company posted fourth quarter profit of 1.2 billion rupees, beating the 1.1 billion rupees estimated by analysts. Still, profit margin of 6.3 percent was less than an estimated 7.3 percent, a 80 basis point decline from the previous quarter, Religare Capital Markets Pvt. wrote in a report.

Coal India slumped 3.3 percent. Bharat Heavy Electricals lost 2.6 percent. ICICI Bank plunged 2.5 percent, taking its five-day drop to 13 percent.

The Sensex has slid 3.4 percent this year and trades at 15.5 times 12-month projected earnings versus 11.6 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

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