India’s benchmark stock index fell for a second day, led by technology stocks, after sales at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) missed estimates.
Tata Consultancy, the nation’s biggest company by market value, headed for the steepest loss in eight months. The S&P BSE India Infotech Index of 10 software companies fell the most in three months. HDFC Bank Ltd. (HDFCB) slid to a one-week low before its quarterly earnings announcement, sending a gauge of lenders to a second day of declines.
The S&P BSE Sensex lost 0.5 percent to 21,158.67 at 12:03 p.m. in Mumbai. India’s largest technology companies, which get most of their sales from overseas, were among the five largest gainers on the Sensex in 2013 as growth in developed economies and a weak rupee boosted the outlook for exporters’ earnings. Tata Consultancy surged 73 percent last year, the most among the all Sensex companies, and trades at a 17 percent premium to the technology index, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“Some investors are taking money off the table as gains have been big in software stocks,” Mehraboon Irani, principal and head of private client group at Mumbai-based Nirmal Bang Securities Ltd., said in a phone interview. “We are still positive of software stocks. They should be bought on dips.”
Tata Consultancy dropped 5.4 percent, the most since May 2012. Sales rose 33 percent to 212.9 billion rupees ($ 3.47 billion), the company said yesterday after the market closed. That lagged behind the 214.2 billion-rupee median of analysts’ estimates. Chief Executive Officer N. Chandrasekaran said he expects little growth for the company in India, where sales fell 9 percent, for the next two quarters.
HDFC Bank, ITC
HDFC Bank fell 0.8 percent, its second day of losses. The lender may report profit of 23.2 billion rupees for the quarter ended Dec. 31, according to a Bloomberg survey.
Among other Sensex constituents announcing results today, Wipro Ltd. (WPRO) declined 2.6 percent. India’s third-largest software exporter is estimated to post a profit of 20.1 billion rupees for the quarter ended December.
Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), owner of the world’s largest oil-refinery complex, headed for an eighth day of advance, the longest winning run since March 2010. The company will announce today earnings after posting its slowest profit growth in four quarters for the period ended Sept. 30.
ITC Ltd. (ITC) traded little changed after the nation’s largest cigarette producer posted 17 percent gain in net income to 23.9 billion rupees, the slowest pace in five years. Earnings were in line with 23.6-billion rupee median estimate of 27 analysts
Global investors bought a net $ 125.4 million of domestic stocks on Jan. 15, data from the regulator show. They invested $ 20 billion last year, the most in Asia after Japan, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Net purchases in 2012 were $ 24.6 billion, the data show.
The CNX Nifty (NIFTY) Index on the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. slid 0.3 percent to 6,305.90.
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