India's benchmark stock index fell as investors weighed rising valuations after a two-week rally in equities against speculation of a favourable monsoon season.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, the nation's biggest maker of power equipment, dropped the most in six weeks after the Business Standard reported the government may approve the sale of a 5 per cent stake next week. DLF Ltd, the largest property developer, lost 1.2 per cent after a 12 per cent surge in three days. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, the biggest tractor maker, rallied 2 per cent.
The Sensex, fell 69.92, or 0.4 per cent, to 18,744.56. The measure increased 7.5 per cent in the two weeks to Tuesday. The S&P CNX Nifty Index lost 0.3 per cent to 5,632.10 and its July futures settled at 5,650. The BSE 200 Index shed 0.3 per cent to 2,322.37.
"There's not enough confidence that things are going fine with the Indian economy as far as inflation, interest rates and policy making are concerned," U.R. Bhat, managing director of Dalton Capital Advisors India Pvt, said from Mumbai. "There's a lot of uncertainty. People are looking over each other's shoulders to see who books profit first."
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Bharat Heavy declined 4.7 per cent to Rs1,951.7 (Dh161.48), the most since May 23. DLF dropped 1.2 per cent to Rs230.9. Mahindra & Mahindra gained 2 per cent to Rs717.2. Its July futures traded at Rs712.35.
The Sensex declined 8.6 per cent this year, the worst performer in the world's biggest stock markets, as India's central bank raised rates ten times since the start of 2010 to cool inflation.