India Stocks Fluctuate as Oil, Polls Offset Trade Truce Cheer

(Bloomberg) -- Indian stocks were volatile on Monday as as the biggest surge in oil prices in two years and uncertainty around the outcome of state elections offset cheer from a U.S.-China trade truce.

The S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.1 percent to 36,241 in Mumbai, paring an earlier gain of 0.7 percent. The NSE Nifty 50 Index climbed 0.1 percent. While U.S. and China leaders agreed to pause the introduction of new tariffs and intensify trade talks, the price of crude oil -- India’s biggest import -- rallied as much as 6.6 percent.

The Numbers

  • Fifteen of the 19 sector sub-gauges compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by the S&P BSE Utilities Index’s 2.7 percent gain.
  • Hindustan Unilever Ltd. and NTPC Ltd. provided the biggest boosts to the benchmark.
    • Unilever agreed to acquire GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Indian consumer business, including malted milk drink Horlicks, for 3.3 billion euros ($3.8 billion).
  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. declined the most in 18 months on a report that the market regulator may reopen an insider trading case against it. The company denied being contacted by the regulator on any whistle-blower complaint in an emailed response.
  • InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., Hindustan Petroleum Corp., Bharat Petroleum Corp., Indian Oil Corp. fell on higher oil prices.

Strategist View

  • “There is some caution around both oil and election results,” said Jitendra Panda, managing director at Peerless Securities Ltd. The “sharp rise in crude oil prices also weighs on the local currency. The market was at a high, which provided some investors opportunity to exit and sit on cash until the events are over.”
    • Votes in all the Indian state elections will be counted on Dec. 11.

Analyst Notes/Market-related stories

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