Most Indian stocks rose, led by consumer companies and automakers, on optimism a deepening slump in oil may slow inflation further in Asia’s third-largest economy.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUVR), the biggest home-products maker, rallied to a record. Tata Motors Ltd. (TTMT), the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, jumped to a five-week high, while Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (MM), the largest tractor maker, gained for a second day. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) climbed 2.3 percent.
Three stocks advanced for each that fell on the S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX), which added 0.1 percent to 27,450.41 at 10:52 a.m. in Mumbai. Wholesale prices probably rose less than one percent in in December after stagnating the previous month, a Bloomberg survey shows before data due today. Data earlier in the week showed retail inflation remained below the Reserve Bank of India’s target for a third month, likely offering the central bank more room to ease monetary policy at its review on Feb. 3.
“We may get a rate cut next month because of the slump in global commodity and oil prices but the market is not getting the confidence because the rout has raised questions on global growth,” Arun Kejriwal, a director at Kejriwal Research and Investment Pvt., said by phone today.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell as copper prices plunged to a 5 1/2-year low, leading losses in industrial metals. West Texas Intermediate oil touched $ 44.2 a barrel yesterday, the lowest level since March 2009. Brent declined for a fifth day.
Foreign investors bought a net $ 42 million of local shares on Jan. 12, paring this month’s outflow to $ 352.5 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show. They bought $ 16 billion of Indian stocks last year.
The Sensex has dropped 0.1 percent so far this year and is valued at 15.2 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s multiple of 11.3.
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