India’s Sensex Retreats Before Brexit as Tata Motors Tumbles

  • ITC drops as Y.C. Deveshwar calls it a day as chief executive
  • Foreign funds have been net sellers in four of last six days

Indian stocks fell for a second day before the U.K. votes on whether to leave or remain in the European Union.

Tata Motors Ltd., owner of Jaguar Land Rover that gets about 25 percent of its revenue from Europe, tumbled for the first time in seven days. ITC Ltd., India’s biggest cigarette company, slid for a second day this week after its chief said he will step down next year. GAIL India Ltd. retreated for a third day, while Reliance Industries Ltd., owner of the world’s largest refining complex, decreased the most in a week.

The S&P BSE Sensex lost 0.2 percent at the close in Mumbai, after changing direction more than 15 times. There has only been only day the gauge has fluctuated more than 1 percent this month. Different polls putting either side ahead before Thursday’s Brexit vote are keeping investors on edge amid warnings from central bankers and governments that a victory for the "Leave" camp would destabilize financial markets around the world.

“It’s difficult to preempt anything,” Vaibhav Sanghavi, managing director at Mumbai-based Ambit Investment Advisors Pvt., said in an interview. “We will evaluate where to invest depending on valuations once Brexit is out of the way.”

The Sensex has risen 17 percent since falling into a bear market in February as forecasts for the strongest monsoon rain in two decades and India’s world-beating economic growth lured $2.8 billion in inflows from abroad this year. Rains progressed further into parts of the nation’s key states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, shrinking the deficit since June 1 to 21 percent from 23 percent.

Tata Motors tumbled 2.5 percent, the worst performer on the Sensex today. GAIL India dropped 2 percent in a third day of declines, while slid Reliance lost 0.6 percent.

ITC decreased 1.1 percent. Yogesh Deveshwar, who joined ITC in 1968 and has run Asia’s second-largest tobacco company by market value since 1996, will give up the chief executive role in February and attend his final shareholders’ meeting as CEO next month, the company said in a regulatory filing Tuesday.

Overseas funds have bought $628 million of shares in June, set for the fourth month of purchases, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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