Indian stocks advanced the most in a week, led by metal producers and oil companies, to pare its biggest monthly loss in 22 months.
Sesa Sterlite Ltd. (SSLT), India’s biggest copper producer, surged the most in two months. Oil & Natural Gas Corp., the largest state-owned oil explorer, climbed for a second day as crude prices increased. Tata Motors Ltd. (TTMT), the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, gained the most in four weeks.
The S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) added 0.7 percent to 27,441.26 at 11:46 a.m. in Mumbai, narrowing the decline in December to 4.4 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) advanced 0.6 percent as stock markets from Sydney to Hong Kong resumed trading following the Christmas holiday break. Stocks rose amid optimism in the strength of the world’s largest economy after data showed U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 5 percent annual rate from July through September, the fastest since 2003.
“The markets are looking good on the back of positive Asian markets,” Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd., said by phone from Kochi in Kerala state. “We are also seeing some year-end buying by foreign investors looking to shore up their net asset values.”
The Sensex last week posted its third weekly drop of December, and is set for the worst monthly performance since February 2013, amid concern a fall in oil prices and Russia’s currency crisis could cool demand for developing-nation assets. The gauge is still headed for the best annual gain since 2009.
Sesa Sterlite jumped 4.2 percent, the most among stocks in the Sensex. Hindalco Industries Ltd. (HNDL), an aluminum producer, increased 2.3 percent. Tata Steel Ltd. (TATA), the nation’s biggest producer of the alloy, advanced 2.8 percent.
Oil & Natural Gas gained 2 percent as crude oil prices advanced for the first time in three days amid speculation that an escalating conflict in Libya will help ease a global supply surplus that has driven the commodity into a bear market. Tata Motors rose 2.2 percent, the most since Nov. 28.
The Sensex is valued at 15.1 times its projected 12-month earnings. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which has declined 4.6 percent in December, trades at a multiple of 11.2 times.
Global investors sold a net $ 248.8 million of local shares on Dec. 24, a 12th day of selling. That pared this year’s inflow to $ 16 billion, the highest in Asia after Japan.
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