India Sensex Rises Before Economic Data; Developers, Banks Gain

Indian stocks rose, led by property developers and banks, as the benchmark index ended five days of losses before the release of economic data and earnings reports.

Oberoi Realty Ltd. had the biggest weekly gain after the Supreme Court overruled a Bombay High Court order that plots of land owned by the company in Mumbai were a “private forest.” ICICI Bank Ltd. climbed 1.4 percent, helping a gauge of lenders to its first advance in seven days. Tata Steel Ltd. was the top performer on the S&P BSE Sensex today.

The Sensex added 0.1 percent to 20,513.85 at the close after changing directions 25 times. The gauge fell 3.1 percent this month, the worst performance since August, after increases in interest rates by emerging-market central banks failed to stem currency losses and the U.S. Federal Reserve cut stimulus. The government is due to release economic growth data for the year to March and fiscal deficit figures for December today.

“We expect the market to consolidate and track corporate earnings,” said Vinod Nair, head of fundamental research with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd. “We do not expect much downside as all three important events -- the RBI policy, the Fed meet and derivatives expiry -- are out of the way.”

Fourteen of the 18 Sensex companies that have reported earnings for the December quarter so far have beaten analyst estimates. The CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. rose 0.3 percent to 6,089.50.

ICICI Bank Ltd. gained 1.4 percent to 987.7 rupees. State Bank of India increased 0.5 percent, the most in a week. Axis Bank added 1.3 percent. The S&P BSE India Bankex Index gained 0.8 percent, ending six days of losses.

Metals, Telecom

Tata Steel rose for the first time in three days. Hindalco Industries Ltd. climbed 1.3 percent. Sesa Sterlite Ltd., India’s biggest zinc and aluminum maker, increased 0.6 percent.

Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd. surged 7.2 percent, the most in three weeks. Reliance Communications Ltd. jumped 6.2 percent while Idea Cellular Ltd. added 2.2 percent. Bharti Airtel Ltd., the nation’s largest mobile-phone carrier, rallied 2.1 percent to a two-week high.

Global investors sold a net $407 million of local shares this week, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Stock inflows this month have totaled $80.3 million, the least in five months. Foreigners invested $20 billion in 2013, the most in Asia after Japan, as the Fed’s record stimulus boosted demand for riskier assets, the data show.

Reserve Bank India Governor Raghuram Rajan warned of a breakdown in global policy coordination after the Fed reduced its bond-buying for a second meeting, weakening emerging-market currencies from the rupee to the Turkish lira. Rajan raised the benchmark interest rate in a surprise move on Jan. 28 to curb inflation and steady the currency.

“Emerging market funds are continuing redemptions due to Fed tapering and volatile emerging market currencies,” Vaibhav Sanghavi, a director at Ambit Investment Advisors Pvt., said by e-mail. “We expect markets to be turbulent in the first half of this year.”

The Sensex climbed 9 percent in 2013, the best annual gain among the four-largest emerging markets, and trades at 12.9 times projected 12-month earnings. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is valued at 9.1 times.

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