India’s benchmark stock index fell for a seventh time in eight days as earnings of some of biggest companies missed forecasts, and as Citigroup Inc. lowered its estimate for the benchmark index.
Tata Power Co. Ltd, the nation’s largest non-state electricity utility, sank 4.4% after its first quarter profit missed estimates. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, maker of almost half the cars sold in India, fell 2.5%. Tata Motors Ltd pared a rally of as much as 3.2% after earnings fell short of estimates.
“Risk aversion is back,” Nilesh Shah, managing director of Envision Capital Ltd, said in an interview to Bloomberg UTV. “The concerns were always there, they have resurfaced. On a day-to-day basis, market gets driven by what global investors want to do in the short term.”
The BSE sensitive index, or Sensex, lost 71.11 points, or 0.4%, to 17,059.40. The gauge swung between gains and losses at least 12 times. The S&P CNX Nifty slid 0.4% to 5,138.3. Its August futures settled at 5,128. The BSE-200 Index decreased 0.4%.
Citigroup cut its December target for the Sensex to 19,700 from 21,500, citing a weak market environment, lower earnings and heightened uncertainty. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.9% on Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to the lowest level since September amid concerns that Europe’s debt crisis is spreading.
There could be some further pressures ahead on earnings, Aditya Narain and Jitender Tokas, analysts at Citigroup, wrote in a report dated Thursday. “Still, if you remain worried with the developed world, India isn’t a bad place to be due to lower than average valuations, and easing concerns over inflation and monetary tightening,” the report said.
Tata Power plunged 4.4% to Rs 1,123, its sixth day of decline. The company said on Wednesday that first quarter net income increased 34% to Rs 418 crore. That missed the median analyst estimate of Rs 529 crore.
Maruti Suzuki fell 2.3% to Rs 1,247.65. Bharti Airtel Ltd, the country’s biggest wireless operator, fell 2.4% to Rs 397.1.
Tata Motors pared gains to close 0.6% higher at Rs 849 after reporting first quarter profit that missed estimates.
Citigroup cut its estimate for profit growth of Sensex companies in the year ending March 2012 to 21.5% from 24%, the analysts wrote in a 1 August report.