Stocks, Rupee Reverse Gains as Modi Victory Rally Evaporates

Kartik Goyal and Ameya Karve
Stocks, Rupee Reverse Gains as Modi Victory Rally Evaporates

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Indian equities declined and the rupee weakened as investors sold the rally triggered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second landslide victory, an outcome that was partly priced in after exit polls this week.

The Sensex fell 0.8% at the close in Mumbai, erasing a gain of as much as 2.6% that lifted the gauge above 40,000 for the first time. The NSE Nifty 50 Index lost 0.7% after briefly rising above the 12,000 mark. The rupee gave up gains of as much as 0.4%, while the yield on benchmark 2029 bonds dropped three basis points.

Modi’s commanding lead has allayed concerns about a coalition of opposition parties forming the government when investors are already wrestling with slowing economic activity and the U.S.-China trade tensions. Even so, today’s rally stretched valuations that are already rich relative to other emerging markets, analysts said.

“Forward multiples are demanding and when viewed against the backdrop of a slowing economy and earnings undershoot, they limit the market’s upside,” Sriyan Pietersz, an investment strategist at Matthews Asia in Singapore, said in an e-mail.

Foreign funds have purchased $9.5 billion of local shares this year, the most after China, while rupee bonds have seen outflows of $447 million. The MSCI gauge of Indian stocks trades at nearly 18 times its estimated 12-month estimated earnings, 56% higher than a similar index of emerging market rivals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“As the election euphoria settles down, investor focus will shift to global factors such as the U.S.-China trade dispute and local issues such as economic growth and company earnings,” Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities Ltd. in Mumbai, said on phone.

The ruling BJP has extended its lead to more than 282 seats -- easily winning the 272 seats needed to form government -- while Congress is ahead in 51 seats, official election commission results showed as of 3:35 p.m.

Optimism that Modi will boost reforms in the second term will likely attract more foreign inflows to what is already Asia’s top destination for overseas cash this year.

“The rupee had already responded positively to the exit polls earlier in the week, and confirmation of the results should see further strength on the back of increased foreign inflows,” said Khoon Goh, head of research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore. “Election uncertainty is now out of the way.”

The Numbers

Twelve of the 19 sector indexes declined, led by a gauge of consumer-goods stocks.The NSE Volatility Index slumped 30%, the most since vote was counted five years back on May 16, 2014.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kartik Goyal in Mumbai at kgoyal@bloomberg.net;Ameya Karve in Mumbai at akarve@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tan Hwee Ann at hatan@bloomberg.net, Ravil Shirodkar, Anto Antony

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