Attendees wear masks of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of a rally in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Indian Stocks Fall for Second Day Amid Earnings and Elections

(Bloomberg) --

Indian equities declined for a second day after a session of fluctuating trade as investors continue to assess company earnings reports for the first three months of 2019 and speculate on the outcome of the national polls due May 23.

The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.1 percent to 38,981.43 at the close in Mumbai, after rising and falling as much as 0.4 percent in the day. The NSE Nifty 50 Index retreated 0.2 percent to 11,724.75.

Polling in India’s national election ends on May 19 and a coalition led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seen regaining control of the government with a reduced majority, according to at least four opinion polls held in March. Voting is ongoing amid the corporate earnings season, which is scheduled to run through this month. Net income at 11 of the 15 Nifty companies that have reported so far have either beaten or matched analyst estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

Strategist View

  • “It seems that the incumbent government coming back to power is a more likely scenario as the opposition doesn’t look like extracting the issues such as jobs and other economic data points,” said Abhimanyu Sofat, head of research at IIFL Securities Ltd. in Mumbai.
  • It’s better to be on the sidelines and actually see what the actual outcome is, he said.

The Numbers

  • Thirteen of the 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of software services exporters. The rupee is headed for a third straight day of gains against the dollar, rising 1.2 percent in the period.
  • Sixteen of the 31 Sensex members and 27 of the 50 Nifty companies slipped.
  • Biscuits maker Britannia Industries Ltd. dropped 3.9 percent, the most since November 2016, after it reported its net income and revenue that matched estimates.
  • Yes Bank Ltd.’s 3.4 percent gain was the steepest among Nifty members. The non-state lender had plunged by a record 29 percent on April 30 after reporting an unexpected loss.

Analyst Notes/Market-Related Stories

  • A $158 Million Penalty Clears Cloud Over Top Indian Bourse’s IPO
  • Kotak Mahindra Downgraded to Neutral at Nomura; PT 1,450 Rupees
  • Container Corp Rises After Posting 20% Quarterly Profit Growth

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