India’s Sensex Index Snaps Longest Run of Gains Since October

India stocks fell after ten consecutive sessions of gains, as investors awaited vaccine deployment in the world’s second-largest coronavirus hotspot and ahead of the quarterly earnings season that begins Friday.

The S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.5%, the most in over two weeks, to 48,174.06 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index fell 0.4%. Both measures, which swung through gains and losses several times, closed at record highs yesterday.

Asia’s largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. is scheduled to announce results on Friday. India has granted emergency approvals for two vaccines ahead of inking pricing deals.

“Most earnings are expected to be in line with expectations, and that is getting factored into share prices now,” said Umesh Mehta, head of research at Mumbai-based Samco Securities Ltd. “A rollout of the vaccination plan will be a positive for normalizing business activity in the economy.”

The main indexes will remain volatile, but steady buying by foreign investors will help see gains for the week, he said.

Foreign investors poured net $23.4 billion into local stocks last year, the most since 2012, and added $539.4 million in the first two trading sessions this year.

“Market is already at all-time highs with rich valuations, hence investors must play cautiously at these levels,” said Binod Modi, head of strategy at Reliance Securities Ltd. “Focus should be on quality stocks with strong earnings potential and margins of safety.”

The rupee was steady at 73.1638 per U.S. dollar, while the yield on 10-year government bonds rose three basis point to 5.85%.

The Numbers

  • Six of 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of energy companies
  • Reliance Industries Ltd. was the biggest drag on the Sensex, decreasing 2.6%, while ITC Ltd had the largest drop, falling 2.9%

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