Indian (SENSEX) stocks advanced for a fourth day as a decline in oil prices countered the nation’s slowest economic growth in four years. Lenders and consumers companies led the increase.
ICICI Bank Ltd. (ICICIBC), the country’s second-biggest lender, rose the most in a week. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUVR), India’s biggest household products maker, added 2.1 percent. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (SUNP), the largest drugmaker by market value, climbed to a two-week high. Brent crude slid as much as 1.6 percent.
The S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.9 percent to 18,791.66 at 10:52 a.m. in Mumbai. Lower crude costs may restrain consumer prices and trim the current account deficit in a country that imports 80 percent of its oil needs. India’s economy grew 4.4 percent in the June quarter, the weakest pace since 2009, a government report showed on Aug. 30, adding pressure on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to stem a plunge in the currency that led the central bank to tighten monetary policy.
“The fall in global oil prices is likely to cool inflation and support the rupee,” Rajendra Wadher, director at PRB Securities Ltd. in Mumbai, said by phone today. “Economic growth appears to have bottomed out. We expect a recovery over the next two quarters.”
ICICI Bank rose 1.9 percent to 818.75 rupees. Axis Bank Ltd. (AXSB) surged 3.2 percent to 859.2 rupees. Yes Bank Ltd. soared 3.2 percent to 251.2 rupees. The 13-member S&P BSE Bankex rose, taking the three-day gain to 4.6 percent, the most since July 1.
Hindustan Unilever increased 2.1 percent to 644.85 rupees, bound for its highest close in more than a month. ITC Ltd. (ITC), the largest cigarette maker which has the highest weighting on the Sensex, climbed 2 percent to 314.9 rupees.
Sun Pharmaceutical increased 1.5 percent to 529 rupees. Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. rallied 4.2 percent to 425.15 rupees.
The Sensex rose 0.5 percent last week as oil prices fell and Singh said policy changes in the past year will help stem the rupee’s slide. The gauge slid 3.8 percent last month, the most since February.
India’s gross domestic product growth increase in the June quarter compared with 4.8 percent in the prior three months. The median of 44 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 4.7 percent gain. HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics today said the nation’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for August fell to 48.5 from 50.1 in July. A reading greater than 50 shows expansion, while less than 50 is contraction.
Economic growth for the fiscal year will be better than last year, Chakravarthy Rangarajan, chairman of the prime minister’s economic advisory council, said in an interview with the CNBC-TV18 network on Aug. 30.
About 47 percent of Sensex companies that posted earnings for the June quarter missed analyst estimates. That compares with 27 percent for the March quarter, and 43 percent in the three months ended December, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The Sensex is valued at 13.4 times projected 12-month earnings versus a five-year average of 14.1 times, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with 10 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
The CNX Nifty (NIFTY) on the National Stock Exchange increased 0.9 percent to 5,521.45. India VIX, which measures the cost of protection against losses in the Nifty, fell 0.7 percent.
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