India Stock Volatility at Six-Week High as Brexit Anxiety Grows

  • Motorcycle makers, software exporters lead drop; SBI rallies
  • Foreign investors net buyers for 14 days through Monday

A measure of protection against stock-market swings in India rose to the highest in six weeks as a growing chance the U.K. will leave the European Union fueled anxiety among investors.

The India NSE Volatility Index climbed for a fifth day, the longest stretch since November, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was little changed after flipping direction at least 20 times. Motorcycle makers Bajaj Auto Ltd. and Hero MotoCorp Ltd. were among the top losers on the Sensex. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and Infosys Ltd., software services providers that get about a quarter of their revenue from Europe, also fell. State Bank of India and ICICI Bank Ltd. advanced after the Reserve Bank of India introduced new rules on structuring stressed assets.

About three shares fell for every two that rose on the Sensex, which was little changed at 26,395.71 at the close in Mumbai after ranging between a loss of 0.5 percent and a gain of 0.3 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.8 percent while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 1.3 percent in London after new polls indicated more Britons favor leaving the EU than remaining ahead of a June 23 vote.

“The referendum can swing any way and that’s the concern,” Gaurang Shah, vice president at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd., said in an interview with Bloomberg TV India. “Until the event is done and dusted, we are going to see volatility and choppiness.”

Foreign investors bought $53.4 million more Indian shares than they sold on June 13, the 14th straight day of inflows, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Overseas investors have added $678 million to their holdings this month.

“If there’s a correction due to the Brexit, investors will buy into India,” Ajay Srivastava, managing director at Dimensions Consulting Pvt., said in an interview from New Delhi. “This is a buy-on-dips market. There is abundant global and local liquidity.”

Bajaj Auto lost 0.9 percent, while Hero MotoCorp fell 1 percent. Tata Consultancy Services retreated for the fifth day, while Infosys declined for the sixth time in seven days. 

State Bank of India jumped 2.9 percent, while ICICI Bank added 0.5 percent.

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