Indian (SENSEX) stocks declined for the third day, led by state-owned lenders after Bank of Baroda’s profit missed analysts’ estimates.
The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 0.2 percent to 19,741.77, according to preliminary closing prices, erasing gains of as much as 0.6 percent. State Bank of India, the nation’s biggest lender, tumbled the most in three months. Bank of Baroda, which is not a part of the Sensex, plunged the most since October 2008. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), India’s biggest power-equipment maker, decreased 3 percent.
The Sensex closed on Feb. 1 at its lowest levels since Jan. 11 amid concern over valuations as earnings from Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s largest cell-phone operator, and Bharat Heavy Electricals trailed estimates. The Sensex declined 1.6 percent last week, the most since the week ended Nov. 16, even as the Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates on Jan. 29.
“The rally is not getting the support from macro or earnings numbers,” Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd., said in a phone interview from Kochi, South India. “Bank of Baroda (BOB)’s earnings triggered a selloff in state-owned lenders.”
Nine of the 10 biggest losers on the 60-member BSE India Public Sector Undertakings (BSETPSU) were state-owned lenders, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The gauge fell 1.7 percent, the most among 13 sectoral indexes of the BSE Ltd.
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