India Stocks Fall From Record on Expiry Day, Led by Metal Shares

  • Sensex still closes above 30,000 despite drop from Wednesday
  • Volatility to ‘dominate the market’ ahead of earnings: Karvy

India’s benchmark equity index fell from a record as shares of metal makers declined on the day monthly derivatives contracts expire.

The S&P BSE Sensex index fell 0.3 percent, still closing above 30,000 mark at the 3:30 p.m. close in Mumbai. The index fluctuated repeatedly between gains and losses as the April series of derivatives contracts expire on the last Thursday of every month and investors roll over positions to the next month. The NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.1 percent.

“Expiry-led volatility will dominate the market today before investors refocus on the earnings,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, head of fundamental equity research at Karvy Stock Broking Ltd. “It is a recovery quarter and the first one after demonetization, so company numbers will remain crucial.”

Drugmaker Lupin Ltd. declined 2.5 percent, the most on Sensex. Private lender HDFC Bank Ltd. was the best performer, rising 1.3 percent to close at a record for the fifth straight day, after fourth-quarter net income released on April 21 matched estimates.

The S&P BSE Metal Index dropped 1 percent, the biggest decliner among the 13 sector gauges compiled by BSE. The India VIX Index, a gauge of expected stock-price swings, dropped 5.7 percent to the lowest level on record, a day after rising 5.2 percent.

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