India’s Sensex Declines for Third Day as Tata Motors Retreats

  • Dollar gains after Fed officials say June rate hike possible
  • Adani Ports tumbles 10% as Citigroup downgrades stock

Indian stocks declined for a third day, tracking regional peers, as investor concern grew on global economic growth.

Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. had the steepest drop since October 2008 after Citigroup Inc. lowered the stock to neutral amid an increase in debt levels. Tata Motors Ltd. and Tata Steel Ltd. tumbled more than 5 percent each. ICICI Bank Ltd. slides for the sixth day, set for the longest stretch of declines in three months. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., India’s biggest power-equipment maker, fell the most in two months.

The S&P BSE Sensex lost 0.5 percent to 25,101.73 at the close in Mumbai, its lowest level in three weeks. The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index slid for a sixth day while a gauge of global stocks slid to a three-week low as anxiety over slowing economic growth around the world and renewed concerns about higher U.S. interest rates sapped demand for riskier assets.

Given the global growth environment it is difficult to “have a very bullish picture on equities," Gautam Chhaochharia, the head of research at UBS Securities India Pvt., said in a Bloomberg TV India interview. “We need a lot more visibility in earnings growth, and that is something which is not visible globally and in India in a meaningful way."

Equities gauges in Europe and developing nations fell for a fourth straight day. The MSCI All-Country World Index dropped 0.5 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 0.6 percent.

Earnings Scorecard

Company earnings in India have dropped in four of the past five quarters in the worst run since the global financial crisis. So far in this reporting season, seven out of 11 Sensex firms that have reported earnings exceeded or match estimates for the March quarter.

Adani Ports sank 12 percent, taking this year’s loss to 20 percent. The company’s profit rose to 9.1 billion rupees, beating the 6.3 billion rupees estimated by analysts. However, for the year ended in March 2016, the results showed “sharp increase" in net debt, loans and advances which comes as “negative surprise” and will act as overhang on stock price, Atul Tiwari, an analyst at Citigroup Global Markets India.

Tata Motors tumbled 6.8 percent, the most since Aug. 24. Tata Steel dropped 5.6 percent, a second day of decline this week. ICICI Bank lost 3 percent, extending its six-day slide to 16 percent. Bhel lost 3.8 percent, taking this year’s fall to 29 percent, the most on the Sensex.

United Breweries Ltd., which makes India’s best-selling beer, fell 4.9 percent to its lowest level since November 2014. An ethics panel of the upper house of India’s parliament has recommended the expulsion of ex-billionaire Vijay Mallya from the legislative body, citing misconduct, a day after his resignation was rejected on procedural grounds. Mallya holds a stake in United Breweries.

The tycoon, who once controlled a liquor and beer empire in India, is fighting a case in the nation’s top court after a group of lenders demanded full settlement of his grounded carrier Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.’s debt.

The Sensex has slid 3.9 percent this year and trades at 15.4 times 12-month projected earnings versus 11.4 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. Foreign investors sold $113 million of local stocks on May 3, taking this year’s inflows to $1.85 billion.

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