Indian Stocks Decline as ONGC Tumbles and Lupin Misses Estimates

  • Asia stocks slip from 2-month high as investors await Fed, BOJ
  • Foreign funds net buyers for 11 straight days through Monday

Indian stocks declined for a second day, tracking regional equities, before a two-day Federal Reserve meeting and as quarterly earnings of some of the nation’s biggest companies trailed estimates.

Oil & Natural Gas Corp., the largest explorer, tumbled the most in two weeks. Housing Development Finance Corp., the top mortgage lender, posted the biggest two-day loss since September after posting earnings that missed estimates. Lupin Ltd., a drugmaker, plunged the most in three months after its second-quarter net income and sales missed forecasts.

The S&P BSE Sensex lost 0.4 percent to 27,253.44 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Mumbai, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped from a two-month high. The Fed is projected to hold rates near zero, while economists remain split on whether the Bank of Japan will add to its already record stimulus at its meeting on Oct. 30. Back home, nine of the 14 Sensex companies that have reported September-quarter results have matched or beaten estimates.

“We’re in the midst of the earnings season and an expiry week,” Gaurang Shah, vice president at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd. in Mumbai, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV India. “In the next 10 days, we will see the outcome of the Bihar state elections, and I don’t see any meaningful break down or break out in the market until then. I’m not too worried about what happens at the Fed meeting.”

Earnings Outlook

The ongoing elections in Bihar are important for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to control the upper house of parliament, where opposition lawmakers have blocked major economic proposals including a nationwide sales tax. A win would give him momentum in about a dozen more state elections through 2017 that will determine control of the body. Poll results are due on Nov. 8.

ONGC tumbled 3.3 percent, the most since Oct. 13. HDFC slid 2.9 percent, the biggest drop since Sept. 22. Tata Steel Ltd. declined 1.4 percent, ending three days of advance.

Axis Bank Ltd. reported second quarter profit of 19.2 billion rupees, missing the 19.4 billion rupees estimated by analysts. The stock closed little changed at 521.8 rupees after falling as much as 1 percent.

Lupin plunged 5.2 percent, the most since July 23, after it reported second quarter profit of 4.1 billion rupees, missing the estimated 5.7 billion rupees. Its sales of 31.8 billion rupees was less than the estimated 33.5 billion rupees.

Maruti, Vedanta

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., which makes almost half the cars sold in the country, gained 2.6 percent after posting a 42 percent jump in earnings. The stock was the best performer on the Sensex. The carmaker posted second-quarter net income of 12.3 billion rupees ($189 million) from 8.6 billion rupees a year earlier. That compares with the 12.6-billion rupee average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Vedanta Ltd., the largest copper producer, erased losses of as much as 2.6 percent after reporting net income and sales that exceeded estimates. Second-quarter profit slumped 41 percent to 9.74 billion rupees, beating the 6.25 billion rupees estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

International investors were net buyers of Indian stocks for a 11th day on Monday, the longest stretch of inflows since the 12 days through March 9. Foreign funds bought $118 million worth of shares, extending this year’s purchases to $4.67 billion.

The Sensex has fallen 0.9 percent this year and trades at 15.7 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s multiple of 11.3.

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