India’s Sensex Set for Longest Losing Streak in Nearly Three Months

(Bloomberg) -- India stocks fell, with the benchmark equity index posting its longest losing streak in almost three months, joining a rout among peers across Asia as investors remained on edge ahead of trade talks between U.S. and China this week.

The S&P BSE Sensex declined 0.6% to 37,558.91 in Mumbai, a seventh consecutive session of losses in the longest such stretch since February, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The drop was led by Reliance Industries after Morgan Stanley downgraded the country’s most valuable company to equal-weight from overweight.

The NSE Nifty 50 Index fell 0.5%. China’s top trade negotiator, Liu He, is scheduled to hold talks with the U.S. later this week.

Locally, quarterly earnings of companies remain in focus for investors. Of the 22 Nifty companies that have so far announced results, 14 have either met or exceeded analyst estimates. Meanwhile, India’s national election entered its penultimate stage, with the last two phases of voting scheduled on May 12 and May 19. The results are scheduled to be announced on May 23.

Strategist View

“Global concerns over tariff wars have added to the existing uncertainty around the national ballot, which looks like a closely contested battle between major political parties,” said Dharmesh Kant, head of retail research at Indianivesh Securities Ltd. “While the earnings have been in line with expectations, the problems around the default by non-bank financier IL&FS aren’t done and dusted.”

The Numbers

  • Thirteen of the 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of energy stocks
  • Reliance Industries contributed the most to the index decline and had the largest move, falling 3.3%. That was the stock’s fourth day of dropping, its longest losing streak since Jan. 30
  • Yes Bank Ltd. provided the biggest boost to the index and was the top performer, rising 5.9% after declining for three days
  • Net income at HCL Technologies Ltd., which announced results after market hours, met analyst estimates; the stock was little changed on Thursday
  • The benchmark index is about 4.4% below its 52-week closing high touched on April 16

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