Mumbai: India’s benchmark stock index fell on Friday, on course for its worst month since January, as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and rising US jobless claims prompted investors to withdraw funds from riskier assets.
Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd, the largest copper producer, dropped 1.6% as metal prices tumbled. Wipro Ltd, India’s third largest software services provider, declined to the lowest in two weeks. The nation’s largest software exporters get more than one-fifth of their sales in Europe.
“Global risk aversion has increased among investors,” said Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd in Kochi, southern India. “The global markets are under a lot of pressure. We have advised our clients to book profits in mid and small-cap stocks.”
Economic uncertainty: The Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai. Growth rates are coming under threat globally due to the European debt crisis and this has triggered an erosion of investor confidence. Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters
The Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) sensitive index, or Sensex, fell 74.07, or 0.5%, to 16,445.61, taking its loss this week to 3.2%. The gauge is poised for its worst monthly performance since January’s 6.3% slide.
The S&P CNX Nifty index on the National Stock Exchange lost 0.3% to 4,931.15. The BSE 200 index retreated 0.6% to 2,089.54.
Sterlite declined 1.6% to Rs641.65. The stock has slid 22% since the end of April and is poised for its worst monthly performance since October 2008. Commodities, measured by the Reuters/Jefferies CRB index of 19 raw materials, slumped to an eight-month low on Thursday.
Wipro dropped 1.9% to Rs641.70. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, the largest software services exporter, slid 1.6% to Rs718.70, its lowest close in atleast four months.
The rupee fell past 47 per dollar for the first time this year, set for the worst week since 1995.
Economic growth rates are coming under threat globally due to the European debt crisis and this has triggered an erosion of investor confidence, said R.V.S. Sridhar, senior vice-president at Axis Bank Ltd in Mumbai.
Overseas investors sold a net Rs1,470 crore of Indian equities on Thursday, reducing their total purchases of the stocks this year to Rs24,590 crore, according to the nation’s market regulator.
Inflows from overseas reached a record Rs83,420 crore in 2009, exceeding the high set two years earlier in domestic currency terms, as the biggest rally in 18 years lured foreign funds. They sold a record Rs52,990 crore of shares in 2008, triggering a record annual decline.
Anil Varma contributed to this story.