India’s Nifty Stock-Index Futures Advance on Rates Speculation

Indian stock-index futures gained amid signs the central bank won’t tighten monetary policy at its meeting next week.

SGX CNX Nifty Index futures for July delivery rose 0.4 percent to 6,058 at 9:37 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying CNX Nifty (NIFTY) Index rose less than 0.1 percent to 6,031.80 yesterday. The S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.1 percent to 20,159.12. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.-traded shares climbed 1.4 percent.

The Reserve Bank of India’s move to raise two of its interest rates last week while keeping the main repurchase rate unchanged doesn’t signal a shift toward a tightening bias, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said yesterday. Governor Duvvuri Subbarao, who has one monetary-policy review left before his term expires in September, is under pressure to contain inflation and stem a plunge in the rupee that has boosted import costs.

“The clarification by the finance minister that the RBI is not signaling to increase rates is supporting bank stocks,” R.K. Gupta, who helps oversee about $ 743 million as managing director at Taurus Asset Management Co., said by phone from New Delhi yesterday. “Bank stocks are rebounding as valuations have become relatively attractive.”

The S&P BSE India Bankex index of 13 Indian lenders slumped to the lowest since September on July 17. The measure has plunged 17 percent since climbing to an all-time high on May 16.

Directional Bets

Global investors bought $ 66.8 million of local shares on July 19, the first inflow since July 10, taking this year’s net purchases to $ 12.4 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Overseas funds have sold a net $ 933 million of Indian (SENSEX) stocks this month, the most among 10 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg, extending June’s $ 1.8 billion sell-off.

“Investors are waiting to see the major earnings before taking any directional bets,” Rajendra Wadher, director at PRB Securities Ltd., said in a phone interview yesterday. “Earnings of consumer and industrial companies could provide the next trigger for stocks.”

Two out of the seven Sensex companies that have reported earnings for the quarter ended June 30 so far have missed estimates. That compares with 27 percent for the March quarter and 43 percent in the three months through December.

The Sensex has gained 3.8 percent this year and trades at 13.9 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s 10 times.

To contact the reporter on this story: Santanu Chakraborty in Mumbai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at

SGX Nifty

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