Indian Stocks Slide to Two-Week Low Amid Poor Volumes; ITC Drops

  • Benchmark Sensex gives up gain in the last 30 minutes of trade
  • Nifty turnover 36% below 30-day mean before year-end holidays

Indian stocks declined for a sixth day, led by consumer companies and software exporters, amid low trading volumes before the year-end holidays. Gainers equaled decliners among the benchmark index’s 30 members.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. fell 2.1 percent to its lowest level since June 2014. The shares were cut to neutral from outperform at Credit Suisse Group AG on Dec. 19. ITC Ltd., a maker of consumer products including cigarettes and biscuits, dropped to a one-month low. The S&P BSE Sensex reversed gains in the last half hour of trade while volumes on the NSE Nifty 50 Index were 36 percent below the 30-day mean.

IndexChange (%)Size and Scope
BSE Sensex-0.3%Longest losing streak in month
BSE FMCG-1%One-month low
BSE MidCap-0.2%Eighth day of declines

Overseas investors continued to sell Indian shares on concern the country’s Nov. 8 decision to ban existing high-denomination banknotes will hurt demand and company earnings. Global funds have sold local shares for nine of the last ten weeks, paring the year’s total inflow to $3.9 billion.

The withdrawals by global funds “is the main hurdle for the market,” said Sushant Kumar, a fund manager at the Mumbai-based Raay Global Investments Pvt. The Nifty will trade in the 7,950-8,250 range this month, and investors will wait for the federal budget in February for “more clues” on the economy, he said.

Gross domestic product, which grew a slower-than-estimated 7.3 percent in the September quarter, will expand 6.5 percent over the next three months, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Summary

  • Linde India Ltd. climbed 6.4 percent, paring an intraday gain of 17 percent, as the U.S.’s Praxair Inc. agreed to buy its German parent Linde AG for $35 billion.
  • Reliance Communications Ltd. jumped 6.7 percent, the steepest gain in almost three months, after signing a deal to sell its tower business to Brookfield Infrastructure Group for $1.6 billion.
  • Jyoti Structures Ltd. increased 7.3 percent, the most in six weeks, after the company said it received a $15-million order.
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