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Indian Shares Fall as Financials, Inflation Worries Weigh

BENGALURU, April 5 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged lower on Tuesday as heavyweight financials fell after a sharp jump in the previous session, while fears of imported inflation due to rising global crude oil prices also weighed on investor sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.3% to 17,995 by 0445 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.45% to 60,336.45.

"There are too many worries. We are in a unique situation where the entire supply chain has been totally disturbed. Other commodity prices are also going up with oil," said AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital.

Brent crude prices jumped on persistent supply worries, lifting Oil & Natural Gas Corp by 1.7% while stoking worries about high inflation.

India is the world's third-largest importer and consumer of oil, and a rise in crude prices tends to push the country's trade and current account deficit higher while also hurting the rupee.

Prabhakar, however, said foreign funds have turned net buyers over the last couple of weeks, which is supporting the market.

Foreign investors have net bought $1.38 billion in equities since last Tuesday, including $1.14 billion in the previous session, Refinitiv data showed.

HDFC Bank and Housing Development Finance Corp were the top losers in the blue-chip Nifty, falling 3% and 1.7% respectively. Both of them had surged more than 9% on Monday after unveiling a merger of their operations.

Zomato fell as much as 4.5% after India's antitrust body said on Monday it would probe the online food aggregator over neutrality.

The Nifty bank index fell 1.2% and the finance index dropped 1.3% after gaining more than 4% on Monday.

Power Grid and NTPC Ltd gained more than 1% each on rising power demand due to hotter weather.

Auto companies were among the top gainers buoyed by strong monthly sales, with the Nifty auto index rising 1.1%.

Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Eicher Motors, Maruti Suzuki rose between 0.8% and 2.2%.

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Subhranshu Sahu

Source: Reuters

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