Mumbai: Indian stocks dropped for a second day, erasing this year's advance, as earnings at some of the nation's biggest companies missed analysts' estimates.
The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 0.2 per cent to 19,468.15 at the close, completing a third straight week of losses. Reliance Industries, owner of the world's largest refining complex, declined to a one-month low.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories slid after earnings missed estimates. Tata Steel and Bajaj Auto fell more than 1 per cent each.
Profits at 43 per cent of the 30 Sensex companies trailed forecasts in the December quarter, compared to 40 per cent in the previous two quarters, data shows.
The statistics office on February 7 said growth this year would be the weakest in a decade and data this week showed industrial output fell for a second month in December. The Sensex trades at 13.5 times estimated earnings for the year to March 2014, compared to a multiple of 10.4 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
"Valuations are not cheap and you have a slowdown which will continue to hurt," Anand Shah, chief investment officer at BNP Paribas Asset Management India, which manages $590 million in assets, said in an interview to Bloomberg TV India. "One should not expect last year's rally to sustain given the macro headwinds."
The Sensex rallied 26 per cent in 2012, its biggest annual gain since 2009, as the government boosted measures to revive the economy. Gross domestic product will expand 5 per cent this fiscal year ending March, below last year's 6.2 per cent and the least since the 4 percent growth in 2002-2003, data showed on February 7. Consumer-price index reached 10.79 percent in January, the second highest in the Group of 20 major nations, data showed this week.
Inflation remains 'high', investment has declined and the "external sector is very vulnerable," the Reserve Bank of India said February 11. These risks limited the central bank to a quarter-point reduction in interest rates to 7.75 per cent in January, the first cut since April last year.
Net income at Dr Reddy's fell 29 per cent to Rs3.63 billion, lagging behind the Rs4.29 billion estimated by analysts. The stock decreased 3 per cent to Rs1,818.
Overseas funds have still remained net buyers, ploughing a net $7.85 billion into local shares this year, a record for the period, data shows. They purchased $24.5 billion of stocks last year, the highest among 10 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg. Asian equity funds attracted $535 million in the week to February 13, a 23rd week of inflows, Citigroup said in a report yesterday.
Reliance Industries lost 1.2 per cent to Rs845. Tata Steel, the biggest producer of the alloy, decreased 1.3 per cent to Rs376. Bajaj Auto lost 1.6 per cent.