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Indian Shares Fall as Banks and Pharma Drag

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares fell more than 1% on Wednesday, dragged by banking and pharmaceutical stocks, after the International Monetary Fund trimmed its economic growth forecast for the country.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 1.33% to 15,537.55 by 0515 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was 1.45% lower at 51,815.51, also tracking weak global cues. [MKTS/GLOB]

“Global markets are the main reason for the fall in Indian markets, led by a sell-off in Chinese tech stocks on a regulatory crackdown there,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services, Mumbai.

Shares of InterGlobe Aviation, which runs India’s biggest airline IndiGo, fell as much as 4.3%, a day after the company posted a record quarterly loss as the pandemic weighed on a nascent recovery.

Carmaker Maruti Suzuki and consumer goods major Nestle both were down about 1.4% ahead of their quarterly earnings.

The pandemic and related lockdowns are expected to impact Maruti Suzuki’s quarterly results, said Khemka.

IndusInd Bank shares rose as much as 2.3% and were the biggest gainers on the Nifty 50, after the lender posted a rise in both net profit and net interest income. However, the overall banking index was down 1.59%.

Pharma stocks were 1.31% lower after Tuesday’s 4.3% drop, dragged down by Dr Reddy’s Lab, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Cipla Ltd.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast India’s economy to grow 9.5% in 2021 - a cut of three percentage points from its earlier forecast - citing a lack of access to vaccines and renewed waves of COVID-19 cases.

Asian shares stayed stuck at seven-month lows, as markets continued to digest a storm in Chinese equity markets, while the dollar rested with traders reluctant to place large bets ahead of the outcome of the Federal Reserve meeting.

Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

Source: Reuters

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