Indian stock-index futures gained after benchmark indexes climbed to a one-week high and foreign inflows climbed to the highest level this year.
SGX CNX Nifty Index futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to 6,576.5 at 9:50 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying CNX Nifty Index climbed 0.2 percent to 6,516.65 yesterday. The S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) added 0.1 percent. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.-traded shares increased 0.3 percent.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index capped its best two-day gain in five weeks yesterday as housing data boosted confidence in the world’s biggest economy, while Asian stocks fluctuated before the Federal Reserve ends a monetary-policy review today. Overseas funds bought a net $ 228 million of Indian shares on March 14, extending this year’s purchases to $ 1.6 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“The biggest positive for the Indian markets at the moment is that foreign inflows are very strong,” Surya Narayan Nayak, head of equity research at Sun Capital Advisory Services Pvt., said by phone today. “We expect the bullish stance by overseas investors to continue irrespective of the outcome of the Fed meeting.”
The Sensex advanced to a record high last week after opinion polls showed the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Narendra Modi is gaining ground before next month’s national election. The polls signal voters may be ready to punish the ruling Congress Party for a slowdown in economic growth and a series of graft scandals.
Elections could be a catalyst for policies to revive the economy, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts including Sunil Koul wrote in a March 14 report. Citigroup Inc. sees the rupee gaining as much as 35 percent in the wake of a decisive BJP election win.
A victory for Modi won’t revive the investment cycle, as only a quarter of projects are stuck with the central government, Credit Suisse analysts Neelkanth Mishra and Ravi Shankar wrote in a note today.
The Sensex has risen 3.1 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 10.1 times.
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