Indian Stocks Endure Longest Losing Streak Since Early March
Pedestrians look up at an electronic screen and a digital ticker board at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Indian Stocks Endure Longest Losing Streak Since Early March

Indian stocks fell for a fifth straight day, with the country’s benchmark suffering its longest string of losses in six months.

The S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.2% to 37,668.42 in Mumbai, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 1%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index also lost 0.2%. A measure of telecommunication shares sank 7.4%, its biggest fall since March.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. weighed on the gauge, with the stock sinking 7.9% after industry leader Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. unveiled a competitive new tariff plan. Reliance Industries Ltd., the parent of unlisted Jio Infocomm, added 0.9%.

“We see the offering having potential to drive at least some churn from incumbents,” said Bhupendra Tiwary, an analyst at Mumbai-based ICICI Securities Ltd.

Read: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea Fall as Jio Introduces New Tariff

Both the Sensex and Nifty are headed for their longest string of losses since March 2. Until this week’s declines, the measures had climbed by about 50% from coronavirus-triggered losses later that month. Cases of the infection have since surged to the second-highest in the world, and continue to climb.

“We have a large negative trigger at the back of our minds in terms of Covid and its implications,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities Ltd. in Mumbai.

Some equity funds may be diverted this week by a revival in initial public offerings. Computer Age Management Services Pvt. Ltd.’s 22.4-billion rupee ($305 million) offering and Chemcon Specialty Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. 1.65-billion rupee sale both close today, while stock broker Angel Broking Ltd.’s 3-billion rupee IPO closes Thursday.

The yield on India’s benchmark 10-year bonds fell by two basis points to 5.99%, while the rupee was little changed at 73.57 per dollar.

The Numbers

  • Twelve of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of telecom companies
  • Eighteen of the Sensex constituents fell while 12 rose
  • Bharti Airtel Ltd. contributed most to the Sensex decline and lost the most, slumping 7.9%, Axis Bank Ltd. saw the biggest gain, jumping 1.8%

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