Indian stocks fell for the third time in four days amid concern below-average monsoon rains may hamper efforts to boost growth and hurt company earnings.
Cigarettes-to-hotels group ITC slid 1.7 per cent and Hindustan Unilever, a unit of the world’s second-largest consumer-goods maker, lost 1.1 per cent. Reliance Industries, owner of the world’s largest oil-refining complex, lost 2 per cent as Sanford Bernstein cut its rating on the stock. Tata Motors, the biggest truckmaker, declined 2.2 per cent.
Housing Development Finance, the biggest mortgage lender, kick-started the earnings season, reporting a profit of Rs10.02 billion (Dh662 million) for the quarter ended in June. That compares with a median estimate of 10.1 billion rupees in a Bloomberg News survey of 15 analysts. Shares fell 0.7 per cent to 677.5 rupees.
The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 0.7 per cent to 17,490.57, according to preliminary closing prices at 3.30pm in Mumbai. Monsoon rains are 23 per cent below a 50-year average this season, the weather bureau said on Tuesday. Smaller crops may pare incomes among the 742 million people who live in the countryside, cooling demand for vehicles and home products.
The deficit may persist until next week, L.S. Rathore, director-general at the weather office, told reporters on Wednesday.
Overseas investors bought a net $114 million (Dh418 million) of Indian stocks on Tuesday, taking their investment this year to $9.7 billion, according to the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the market regulator. That’s a record for the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.