New Delhi: The Sensex fell on Monday, the most it had in a month, as investors judged gains to be excessive as compared to earnings.
Stocks on the index were trading at 16 times earnings, versus 8.8 times on 11 March, this year’s low.
Click here to watch video
Infrastructure, real estate and metal companies led the decline. The index rose to a 10 month high on Tuesday, afterPrime Minister Manmohan Singh said the Indian economy could grow at 9% despite the global recession.
Larsen and Toubro and Jaiprakash Associates climbed after the Prime Minister spoke of potential infrastructure advances. Fraud-hit Satyam Computers surged to the daily limit after it reported a Rs. 160 crore profit for the quarter ended December 31st.
Stock prices rose again on Wednesday, on expectations that the government will increase public spending, improving the economy. The Sensex has increased 60% this year, Asia’s biggest advance.
The sensitive index fell on Thursday on speculation that the 32% gains made over the last month made stocks too expensive. After swings throughout the day, stocks ended mixed. The sensex was trading at 18 times estimated earnings. The index fell for a second day on Friday on profit booking, led by State Bank of India, Bharti Airtel, and Ranbaxy.
The sensex advanced 0.9% this week, its 14th weekly rise.
Top gainers included Reliance, Sterlite Industries, ONGC, and Tata Steel.
Top losers were Ranbaxy Labs, DLF, Reliance Communications, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors.
Many sector indices remained under pressure. Metals and Oil and Gas led the gains, while realty, auto, and capital goods, smallcap, bankex, midcap, power, IT, health care, and FMCG declined.