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Indian Shares Fall as Reliance Weighs, Inflation Data Eyes

BENGALURU, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Indian shares gave up gains to end lower on Monday, weighed by shares of Reliance Industries, ahead of retail data that could provide a glimpse into the inflation picture in the country.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.82% lower at 17,368.25, and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.86% to 58,283.42. Both indexes had touched their highest levels since Nov. 22 earlier in the session.

"We are still seeing mixed trends in global markets as investors take comfort in hopes the new COVID-19 variant may be less impactful," said Ajit Mishra, VP Research at Religare Broking.

Data indicating a third vaccine dose boosted protection against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus up to over 70%, lifted the mood in world markets.

Investors are gauging a slew of economic data and possible rate hikes, with inflation worries weighing on domestic markets, Mishra added.

Retail data is due at 1200 GMT, and a Dec. 6-8 poll of 39 economists forecast November consumer price inflation at 5.10%, higher than 4.48% in October.

Markets are also keeping an eye on the Federal Reserve, which is widely expected to signal a faster tapering of asset buying this week, and thus an earlier start to rate hikes.

Reliance Industries among the biggest drags on the main index, fell as much as 2.23% during the session.

Consumer, energy and public sector banks stocks fell around 1% each, with Financial firms Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv falling 3.1% and 2.2%, respectively.

The Nifty IT index was the only sector that rose on the blue-chip index, up 0.31%, boosted by IT solutions firm Coforge Ltd.

Among other individual stocks, diversified finance firm Shriram City Union Finance Ltd rose about 6% after its board and promoter Shriram Capital Ltd approved a merger with commercial vehicle financier Shriram Transport Finance Ltd.

Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Amy Caren Daniel

Source: Reuters

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