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Shares drop from record as Ranbaxy plunges on US ban

January 24, 2014

Indian stocks dropped for the first time this week as some investors bet the rally in the benchmark index to a record has outpaced the outlook for earnings growth. Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd , the nation's largest drugmaker, tumbled 19 per cent after regulators banned it from producing or selling drug ingredients for the US market from a fourth plant in India . Power-equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd was the worst performer on the S&P BSE Sensex. Housing Development Finance Corp slid the most in a week. The Sensex lost 1.1 per cent to 21,133.56 at the close in Mumbai , paring the weekly gain to 0.3 per cent. The gauge rose for a fourth day yesterday, the biggest stretch of gains since November, as all eight companies on the index that announced earnings so far for the December quarter have beaten or matched analyst forecasts. The Sensex trades at 13.2 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with the three-year average of 13.5 times, data compiled by Bloomberg show. "Given the rally in the past few days some profit-booking was expected," U.R. Bhat , managing director of Dalton Capital Advisors India, said by phone on Friday. "With an event like the monetary policy due next week, traders don't like to keep large open positions." Thirty five of the 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan will hold interest rates on January 28 . Still, a panel set up by the RBI to strengthen the monetary policy framework this week recommended setting a retail inflation target of four per cent. That's raised concern the central bank will need to increase borrowing costs. Rajan has increased the main rate twice before leaving it unchanged at 7.75 per cent on December 18 . Consumer prices rose 9.87 per cent in December from a year earlier, the fastest pace in a basket of 17 Asia-Pacific economies tracked by Bloomberg . The gauge has averaged 9.88 per cent since it was created in 2011. Ranbaxy plunged the most since September 16 , extending this year's loss to 23 per cent. Bharat Heavy dropped 3.7 per cent, the most since December 13 . Larsen & Toubro Ltd , the largest engineering company, fell 2.6 per cent, the most since January 9 . Housing Development lost 1.3 per cent, ending a three-day fall. Novartis India Ltd tumbled 4.1 per cent, the most in six months, after reporting 47 per cent plunge in third-quarter profit.


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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)


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