India’s Sensex Drops First Time in Four Days as Banks, L&T Fall

Indian stocks retreated, led by lenders and industrials, as the benchmark index fell from a one-month high.

Bank of India tumbled 3.9 percent, the biggest loser on a gauge of lenders. NTPC Ltd., India’s largest generator, slid to its lowest price in a month. Engineering company Larsen & Toubro Ltd. retreated for the first time in eight days. Drugmaker Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. declined the most in a month.

The S&P BSE Sensex lost 0.2 percent to 20,854.92 at the close. The measure’s 14-day relative strength index climbed to a one-month high yesterday. The Sensex has risen 7.4 percent this year, the top performer among the four largest emerging markets, and trades at 13.6 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with its five-year average of 14.2 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“We’re seeing a sell-off whenever the market rallies as valuations catch up,” Dhananjay Sinha, co-head of institutional research at Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd., said on Bloomberg TV India today.

Bank of India dragged the S&P BSE India Bankex index to a one-week low. Yes Bank Ltd. fell 1.1 percent to 371.45 rupees, halting a three-day rally.

Dr. Reddy’s dropped 1.3 percent, the biggest decliner on the Sensex. Cigarette maker ITC Ltd., which has the highest weighting on the benchmark gauge, slid the most since Nov. 26.

Larsen slumped 1.4 percent to 1,054.65 rupees. NTPC lost 0.9 percent to 145.70 rupees, the lowest price since Oct. 28.

The rupee lost 0.1 percent to 62.3700 per dollar, after advancing 0.2 percent yesterday, as U.S. manufacturing data boosted speculation the Federal Reserve will pare stimulus as early as next month, a policy that’s driven inflows to emerging markets. Overseas investors have purchased a net $17.58 billion of Indian equities this year, the most in Asia after Japan, data compiled by Bloomberg show. They bought a net $1.1 billion of stocks in November, the third monthly inflow, the data show.

The CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. lost 0.3 percent to 6,201.85.

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