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Indian Shares Mark Sixth Straight Day of Losses

BENGALURU, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended lower for a sixth straight session on Wednesday, with automobile and financial stocks falling the most ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.17% to 17,063.25 at close, and the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.12% at 57,232.06.

Both the indexes spent most of the day in positive territory, rising up to 0.8% each, as investors shook off jitters around a recent escalation in the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

"A reason in the downtick in equities at close is because we are nearing monthly expiry of derivatives and since foreign fund outflows continue," said Anita Gandhi, a whole-time director at Arihant Capital Markets.

For the month so far, the Nifty and Sensex have fallen more than 1%, dragged by geopolitical tensions, inflation concerns, foreign fund outflows and expected rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Foreign investors have sold a net $7.02 billion worth of Indian equities so far this year, according to Refinitiv data.

"We saw negative deployments across other sectors with IT witnessing highest ever outflows following a global sell-off," analysts at BofA Securities wrote in a note.

The Nifty IT index has dropped 11.8% this year, following a searing 60% surge in 2021 thanks to large contracts from businesses investing in digital operations as hybrid work models became the norm.

Energy stocks on the Nifty index inched down 0.01%.

Oil prices stabilised on Wednesday after hitting seven-year highs in the previous session as it became clear the first wave of U.S. and European sanctions on Russia would not disrupt oil supplies.

The Nifty Auto index and Nifty Financial Services index fell 0.21% and 0.19%, respectively.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

Source: Reuters

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