India Stocks Extend Weekly Winning Streak as Vaccine Drive Nears

India’s benchmark equity index fell, even while set to extend its longest weekly winning streak in 11 years, as the nation prepares to begin one of the world’s biggest inoculation programs on Saturday.

The S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.4% to 49,377.44 as of 10:17 a.m. in Mumbai, trimming its gain this week to 1.2%. The measure is within a whisker of reaching the 50,000 level for the first time. The NSE Nifty 50 Index declined 0.4% in early Friday trading.

India’s key stock gauges have touched successive new highs in recent weeks as foreign funds piled into the nation’s equities, buying $2.2 billion of stocks this month through Jan. 13 after last year investing the most since 2012. As local companies begin reporting quarterly earnings, the vaccination program offers hopes of a path to recovery in a country that remains the world’s No. 2 coronavirus hotspot after the U.S.

“We are in a mega-bull market triggered by liquidity, and the market will be heading higher until the budget, and we don’t expect a major decline,” said A. K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital Market Services Ltd. in Mumbai. So far there has been “no disappointment” in company results.

Shares of Bharti Airtel Ltd. climbed the most on both the Sensex and the Nifty, giving both measures their biggest boost. MSCI Inc. said it will consider the firm’s new foreign investment limit to determine stock’s weighting in the MSCI India Index in the quarterly review of gauges next month.

All four of the Nifty 50 companies that have announced results so far have beaten estimates. HDFC Bank Ltd. is scheduled to report earnings on Saturday.

The rupee was little changed at 73.0375 per U.S. dollar, while the yield on 10-year government bonds climbed three basis points to 5.92%.

The Numbers

  • Eight of 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of technology companies
  • Infosys Ltd. contributed the most to the Sensex decline, decreasing 0.9%, while Asian Paints had Ltd. had the largest drop, falling 1.3%

Market-related stories

  • RBI to Signal Short-Term Rates as Traders Brace for Cash Drain
  • Borrowing Costs for Indian Firms Surge on Steps to Drain Cash
  • MSCI to Review Bharti’s New Foreign Investor Limit for Weighting

Source: Read Full Article