Indian stock-index futures fell before markets open following a holiday for polls in Mumbai, and amid concerns weak monsoon rains may fuel inflation.
SGX CNX Nifty Index futures for May delivery dropped 0.4 percent to 6,876 at 9:52 a.m. in Singapore. The underlying CNX Nifty Index rose 0.4 percent to a record 6,840.80 on April 23. The S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) gained 0.5 percent to an all-time high. The Bank of New York Mellon India ADR Index of U.S.-traded shares rose 0.1 percent.
The annual monsoon, the main source of irrigation for India’s 235 million farmers, will be below normal this year as the odds of an El Nino weather pattern increase, the country’s forecaster said. A decline in agricultural output may accelerate food inflation, lower rural incomes and hamper a rebound in the country’s economic growth from near the lowest in a decade.
“Markets are at a record, so for those who want to take some money off the table, the monsoon would be a good excuse,” Arun Kejriwal, a director at Kejriwal Research & Investment Pvt., said by phone from Mumbai today. “However, the biggest event remains the elections and till then we can expect a very volatile market.”
Benchmark equity indexes have advanced to records this year amid speculation an election victory for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party led by Narendra Modi will spur investment and boost economic growth. Counting begins on May 16.
Overseas investors bought a net $ 30.8 million of Indian shares on April 22, taking this year’s inflows to $ 4.8 billion. That’s the second-highest among eight Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg, after Taiwan.
ICICI Bank Ltd. (ICICIBC), India’s third-largest bank by market capitalization, may report today profit of 25.4 billion rupees ($ 415.8 million) for the quarter ended March 31, according to the median estimate of 35 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. That compares with 23 billion a year earlier.
Axis Bank Ltd. (AXSB), the fourth-largest, may announce net income rose to 16.8 billion rupees, from 15.55 billion rupees last year, a survey of 31 analysts showed.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL), the country’s biggest carmaker by volume, may report quarterly profit slumped 26 percent to 9.12 billion rupees. Motorcycle maker Hero MotoCorp Ltd. (HMCL) may say net income fell to 5.3 billion rupees, from 5.74 billion rupees a year earlier, according to surveys.
Four out of the five Sensex companies that have reported earnings so far have either exceeded or matched estimates.
The Sensex has climbed 8.1 percent this year and trades at 14.4 times projected 12-month profits. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has risen 0.2 percent in 2014 and is valued at 10.5 times.
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