Most Indian stocks declined, led by energy companies and industrials, before the government releases data on inflation and factory output.
Coal India Ltd. slid the most in six months after reports that the government will sell shares in the world’s biggest producer of the fuel. Tata Motors Ltd. (TTMT), owner of Jaguar Land Rover, dropped 1.3 percent. Bharti Airtel Ltd. (BHARTI), India’s largest mobile-phone operator, retreated to a two-week low after Nomura Holdings Inc. downgraded the stock.
Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX), which lost 0.1 percent to 27,432.79 at 11:06 a.m. in Mumbai. A report today may show consumer prices climbed 5.3 percent in December from a year ago, according to a Bloomberg survey. Lower oil prices slowed gains in the measure to 4.38 percent in November, below the Reserve Bank of India’s 6 percent target for January 2016. The RBI has kept its main rate unchanged at 8 percent since January last year.
“If the inflation data is within the RBI’s comfort zone we could see a rate cut even before the policy meeting,” D.K. Aggarwal, chairman of SMC Investments & Advisors Ltd., said by phone from New Delhi today. “Falling oil and commodity prices as well as the government’s effort to curb the fiscal deficit will give comfort to the governor.”
Coal India plunged 4 percent, the most since July 8. The stock fell 1.8 percent last week. The government will raise 24 billion rupees selling a 10 percent stake next month, Economic Times reported, citing an official it did not identify.
“Some investors are selling Coal India as they expect the government to sell the shares at a discount, which would enable them to buy back at a lower price later,” Aggarwal said. SMC is recommending its clients to buy the stock as the company is a monopoly and will benefit from the government’s reforms in the power-generation sector, he said.
Bharti Airtel headed for its lowest level since Dec. 22. The company’s rating was cut to reduce from buy at Nomura.
Global investors sold a net $ 61.9 million of local shares on Jan. 8, taking this month’s net outflows to $ 352 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Foreign investors had bought $ 16 billion of stocks last year.
The Sensex trades valued at 15 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s multiple of 11.2.
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