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Indian Shares Muted as IT Stocks Weigh; Fed Policy Eyed

BENGALURU, Dec 13 (Reuters) - India's benchmark indexes were muted on Wednesday, weighed down by a drop in information technology (IT) stocks after U.S. inflation concerns resurfaced ahead of the Federal Reserve policy decision later in the day.

The NSE Nifty 50 index settled 0.10% higher at 20,926.35, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.05% to 69,584.60.

The IT sector  shed 1.28%, with all 10 constituents in the red. Industry leaders TCS and and Infosys fell about 2% each and were also among the top Nifty 50 losers.

The decline in IT companies, which are heavily reliant on U.S. revenue, came after data showed U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly rose in November, raising doubts about the possibility of Fed rate cuts in the first half of 2024.

Asian markets also closed lower, with the Fed's policy decision due at 12:30 a.m. IST on Thursday.

"The focus now turns to the Fed's policy decision, with Chair Jerome Powell's comments likely to shape market expectations on rate outlook," said Prashant Tapse, senior vice president (research) at Mehta Equities.

Among the gainers on the day, auto stocks rose about 1%, while realty companies increased 1.61%, rebounding from losses in the previous session.

Mahindra & Mahindra rose about 2% after it said it would invest in Classic Legends, its unit that makes Java and Yezdi motorcycles.

Axis Bank shed about 1.5% after private equity firm Bain Capital offloaded a $448 million stake in the lender.

The pharma index gained 1.12%, bouncing back after shedding 2% over the last three sessions.

Separately, Morgan Stanley said it expects the Sensex to rise 14% to 74,000 by the end of 2024, due to strong earnings, macroeconomic stability and steady domestic inflows.

"It is hard to argue against India's investment case," the brokerage said.

Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza

Source: Reuters

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