Indian stock-index futures dropped before the release of wholesale inflation data today.
SGX CNX Nifty Index futures for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to 6,485 at 9:23 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying CNX Nifty Index slid 0.4 percent to 6,493.10 yesterday. The S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) lost 0.4 percent, heading for its first weekly decline in four weeks. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.- traded shares slumped 2.1 percent.
Wholesale prices likely eased to 4.9 percent in February, the slowest since May, according to the median estimate of 45 analysts in a Bloomberg survey before data due today. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan has raised interest rates three times since taking over the central bank in September to cool Asia’s fastest inflation. The authority meets for its next policy review on April 1.
“Inflation numbers will impact the near-term market trend,” Nidhi Saraswat, senior research analyst at Bonanza Portfolio Ltd., wrote in an e-mail yesterday.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, the benchmark for the region, dropped to a one-month low today as at least four investment banks cut their growth forecasts for China’s economy.
Consumer prices grew 8.1 percent in February, compared with the median 8.3 percent estimate in a Bloomberg survey, data showed on March 12.
Overseas funds bought a net $ 148.6 million of Indian shares on March 12, extending this year’s inflows to $ 1.03 billion, the most in Asia after Taiwan, according to data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The Sensex has risen 2.9 percent this year and trades at 13.9 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the average multiple of 14.5 over the past five years. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is valued at 10 times.
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