India's benchmark stock index fell for the first time in three days, tracking declines in other Asian markets, as weak US manufacturing and jobs data stoked concern the global economic recovery will slow.
ICICI Bank Ltd, the nation's second-largest lender, lost 3.3 per cent, the most since May 23. Tata Motors Ltd., the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, dropped to its lowest since Sepember 17. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 1.6 per cent after reports showed US manufacturing expanded at the weakest pace in more than a year and employers hired fewer workers than forecast.
Reliance Communications Ltd, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd and other companies controlled by Anil Ambani tumbled after CNBC TV-18 reported that a court may rule on a plea to investigate the billionaire today. It didn't elaborate.
The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 114.63, or 0.6 per cent, to 18,494.18 in Mumbai. The gauge closed on Wednesday at its highest level since May 2. The S&P CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd dropped 0.7 per cent to 5,550.35. Its June futures traded at 5,563. The BSE 200 Index fell 0.7 per cent to 2,297.44.
"Macro concerns on both global and domestic levels would weigh on the markets," Jigar Shah, head of research at Kim Eng Securities India Pvt. in Mumbai, said by phone. "Nifty could decline toward 5,300 this month because of these concerns."
India's factory output grew at the slowest pace in four months, a Purchasing Managers' Index compiled by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics showed.
The Sensex dropped 3.3 per cent in May, the most since the 11 per cent slump in January. It has lost 9.8 per cent this year amid concern higher borrowing costs will hurt earnings. Stocks on the measure are valued at an average 14.9 times estimated profit, down from 21.5 times in March 2010, last year's high. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index trades at 10.9 times earnings.
Indian stocks will continue to lag behind emerging-market equities as rising interest costs and inflation erode profits, according to Morgan Stanley.