Indian (SENSEX) stock-index futures were little changed before the start of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.
SGX CNX Nifty Index futures dropped 0.1 percent to 5,854 at 9:56 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying CNX Nifty (NIFTY) Index on the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. fell 0.2 percent to 5,840.55 yesterday. The S&P BSE Sensex gained less than 0.1 percent to 19,742.47. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.-traded shares rose 0.9 percent to 999.40.
Fed members will decide whether to reduce their $ 85 billion-a-month stimulus program, with Treasury purchases to be cut by $ 10 billion, according to a Bloomberg survey. Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan unveils his first monetary police decision this week after data yesterday showed inflation unexpectedly accelerated to a six-month high in August as the rupee’s slide stoked import costs.
“With two big central banks meetings this week investors are reluctant to take big bets,” Arun Kejriwal, director at Kejriwal Research & Investment Services Pvt. in Mumbai, said by phone from Mumbai today. “It’s a wait and watch game for now.”
Overseas investors sold a net $ 12.3 million of domestic shares on Sept. 13, data from the regulator show. That pared this year’s net inflow to $ 12.4 billion, still the second-highest among 10 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg. Foreigners pulled $ 3.7 billion from local equities in the three months to Aug. 31 as capital fled emerging markets amid prospects of the Fed paring its record stimulus.
The Sensex has increased 1.6 percent this year in local currency terms and is valued at 13.9 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the five-year average of 14.1 times, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It has lost 12 percent this year in dollar terms. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index trades at 10.6 times.
India’s central bank raised two interest rates on July 15 and restricted lenders’ access to cash to slow depreciation in the currency. Policy makers also tightened limits on overseas investments by local companies and curbed gold imports.
Asia’s third-largest economy may expand 5.5 percent in the year to March 2014, versus 5 percent in the previous 12-month period, the weakest pace since 2003, according to central bank estimates. The 10-year average is about 8 percent.
The economic slowdown and a weak currency are hurting company earnings. Combined profits for the 30 companies in the Sensex increased 1.4 percent in the three months ended June compared with an estimate of 5.8 percent before the reporting season began, Bank of America Corp. analysts Jyotivardhan Jaipuria and Anand Kumar wrote in a report dated Aug. 19.
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.
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