A small bronze bull is displayed during a media preview of an auction (Photographer: Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg)  

Goldman Says India's World-Beating Stock-Market Run Is Over

(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has called time on the world-beating surge in Indian stocks.

The nation’s equity market looks less favorable amid elevated valuations, a potential slowdown in economic growth and upcoming elections, according to Goldman Sachs analysts, who cut India to the equivalent of a hold rating from buy. The firm has been bullish on Indian stocks since March 2014 and the market has nearly doubled since then, returning more than twice that of global equities.

Goldman Says India's World-Beating Stock-Market Run Is Over

“The risk reward for Indian equities is less favorable,” the analysts, including Sunil Koul, wrote in a report dated Sept. 16. “The key reasons for our less optimistic view include, among others, stretched valuations, multiple macro headwinds in the near term and election event risk.”

India’s world-beating economic growth that now faces tests from higher oil prices and a tumbling rupee has accompanied the stellar run for equities, confounding non-believers in recent years. The lack of breadth among rising stocks and uncertainty going into state polls starting later this year are now becoming common refrains for those positioning for less rosy future returns. The S&P BSE Sensex slid 0.9 percent at 10:05 a.m. on Monday, extending two straight weeks of declines.

Still, not everyone is pessimistic. Morgan Stanley analysts last week raised their Sept. 2019 target for the Sensex to 42,000, citing broad-based earnings growth. That implies 10 percent gain from Friday’s close. They advised investors to hunt out underperformers rather than buy into stocks that have beaten the market.

Goldman Sachs, however, says valuations have gotten stretched and history points to negative absolute and relative returns when multiples get so far above average.

Goldman Says India's World-Beating Stock-Market Run Is Over

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