India’s Nifty Futures Climb After Benchmarks Drop to 2-Week Low

Indian stock-index futures rose after benchmark indexes declined to a two-week low yesterday.

SGX CNX Nifty Index futures for March delivery climbed 0.4 percent to 6,529 at 9:45 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying CNX Nifty Index fell 0.6 percent to 6,483.10 yesterday, the lowest close since March 6. The S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) lost 0.4 percent. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.-traded shares added 0.3 percent.

U.S. stocks gained and the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index rose for the first time in three days after economic data fueled optimism in the world’s biggest economy, overshadowing concerns that borrowing costs may rise next year. The Reserve Bank of India meets for a policy review on April 1, before federal elections the following week.

“The market may witness volatility ahead of the RBI monetary policy meeting and upcoming elections,” Nidhi Saraswat, senior research analyst at Bonanza Portfolio Ltd., wrote in an e-mail yesterday.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on March 19 that U.S. interest rates could rise as soon as six months after the Fed ends its bond-buying program.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress Party is headed for its worst-ever electoral performance as elevated inflation, slowing growth and a series of corruption scandals erode support, opinion polls show.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies, favored by investors seeking a change to revive growth, may secure as many as 232 parliament seats, according to a poll released March 6 by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Slowing Inflation

Indian wholesale-price inflation eased to a nine-month low in February, while consumer price growth fell to the slowest pace since January 2012, as higher borrowing costs helped damp price pressures, suggesting official interest rates will be maintained at their current level.

The Sensex has risen 2.7 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 9 times, the cheapest level since November 2011.

Overseas funds bought a net $ 183 million of Indian shares on March 19, extending this year’s inflows to $ 1.76 billion, the most in Asia after Indonesia, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rajhkumar K Shaaw in Mumbai at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at Matthew Oakley, Chan Tien Hin

SGX Nifty

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