Mumbai: India’s main BSE index fell for a fourth consecutive session on Monday to post its lowest close in July as doubts about whether the Reserve Bank of India will cut rates hit some interest rate-sensitive stocks such as DLF.
India said June headline inflation rose a lower-than-expected 7.25% from a year ago, but core inflation was estimated at 4.85%, unchanged from levels in May.
Traders are split about whether Reserve Bank of India will deliver a cut in the repo rate at its 31 July policy review, especially since weaker-than-expected rain falls during the monsoon season are raising concerns about higher food prices.
Markets tumbled on Monday for a fourth day in a row. Mint’s Lisa Pallavi Barbora walks us through the day’s action.
The government is also expected to tackle policy reforms after presidential elections on Thursday. Action such as raising diesel prices to lower India’s subsidy burden would help sentiment, but could also raise inflationary worries.
“Inflation figures would not change a thing for RBI, as core inflation, although looking under control, has not come off substantially,” said Sandeep J. Shah, chief executive officer at Sampriti Capital.
The 30-share BSE index fell 0.64% to 17,103.31 points, to mark its lowest close since 28 June.
The 50-share NSE index lost 0.57% to end at 5.197.25 points.
A rally in Indian stock markets has stalled in July, as investors have booked profits in some outperformers, while caution has set in ahead of the RBI meeting and ahead of any potential government measures.
After surging 7.5% in June, the BSE index has fallen 1.9% this month, compared with a 0.9% fall in the MSCI Asia-Pacific index excluding Japan.
DLF, India’s biggest property firm, fell 1.35%, reflecting the uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates.
Bank shares ended mixed. Government-owned State Bank of India rose 1%, but private lenders ICICI Bank fell 0.6%, while HDFC Bank lost 0.75%.
Among other decliners, Infosys dropped 2.6%, and has now fallen 12.1% over the past three sessions, as the software services exporter still reels from disappointing earnings results out on Thursday.
Rival Tata Consultancy Services, which posted better earnings, fell 3.4%, after gaining 1.1% on Friday.
Goldman Sachs on Monday trimmed its global technology spending forecast to 3% from 4% for calendar year 2012, citing lower economic growth in advanced economies, and a lower global fixed investment forecast.
Tata Motors shares fell 2.8% after the auto maker said its unit Jaguar Land Rover sold 28,215 vehicles in June, below market expectations for 29,000 units.
However, among gainers, shares in Bharti Airtel rose 3.77% on expectations for a favourable decision as the ministry meets on Wednesday to decide on which prices to charge for 2G radio airwaves at an upcoming auction.
Lupin shares rose 3% after Citigroup raised its target price to Rs640 from Rs570, saying the drug maker would see “healthy” growth and “improved profitability” in each of its key markets at home, the United States, and Japan.