India Stocks Volatile as Index Heads for Worst Month Since May

India’s benchmark equity index fluctuated as it headed toward its first month of losses since May.

The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.2% to 37,916.35 as of 10:07 a.m. in Mumbai after rising as much as 0.3%. While down for the month, the gauge is set to advance for a second consecutive quarter. The NSE Nifty 50 Index also dropped 0.2% today.

The indexes may show gains through to the end of the year, with history showing a five-year average 2.1% advance in the Sensex in the final three months when India’s festive season spending kicks in.

“There is some normalization of consumer demand with power consumption picking up, more customer inquiries for new vehicles,” said Anita Gandhi, an investment advisor at Arihant Capital Markets Ltd. in Mumbai. “Businesses are focusing on being cost efficient and going online which should help.”

Read: Titan Shines with Rally as Festive Outlook Shakes off Virus Woes

The period from mid-October through December is the busiest time for purchases of products from gold ornaments to cars and apartments. A gradual relaxation of restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus may help revive spending as the economy heads for its deepest recorded contraction.

In the fixed income market, sovereign bond traders are awaiting a borrowing plan for the second half of the financial year. The yield on 10-year government bonds was steady at 6.03% while the rupee was little changed at 73.84 per U.S. dollar.

The Numbers

  • Ten of 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. rose, led by a gauge of healthcare companies
  • Reliance Industries Ltd. provided the biggest boost to the Sensex, advancing 0.5% after the company said General Atlantic will invest 36.8 billion rupees ($498 million) in its retail unit
  • ICICI Bank Ltd. contributed the most to the index decline,while IndusInd Bank Ltd. had the largest drop, falling 2%

Market-related stories

  • General Atlantic to Invest 36.8B Rupees in Reliance Retail
  • Diesel Demand Drop Forcing India Refiners to Import Gasoline

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