Indian shares slide on inflation concerns; metals decline the most

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares slid on Wednesday as stocks across the board gave up gains and investor sentiment around the globe soured over sky-high oil prices, which stoked worries about rising inflation.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.99% lower at 17,646, while the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.93% at 59,189.73.

World stocks skid and the MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, fell 0.4%.[MKTS/GLOB]

In India, the benchmark indexes eked out gains early in the session, driven by energy stocks. But both indexes flittered between gains and losses as the session progressed and slid 1% each in the afternoon.

Nifty’s Energy index, which scaled a record earlier in the day, snapped three sessions of gains and settled 0.45% lower.

“Valuations are at significantly premium levels. Indian markets have been resilient despite negative global cues and markets have finally given into the pressure,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Securities in Mumbai.

Forty-one of the 50 stocks on the Nifty 50 index settled in negative territory, led by a near 4% drop in aluminium and copper manufacturer Hidalgo Industries and SBI Life Insurance Co.

All of Nifty’s major sub-indexes closed lower, with the metals index declining the most to settle 2.98% lower.

Shares of Zee Entertainment Enterprises closed down 1.6% after it said it had filed a suit in the Bombay High Court to declare a requisition notice sent by its top investors as invalid.

State-run oil and gas explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp held on to gains and closed higher for a fourth straight session on the back of high oil prices as expensive crude tends to benefit companies like ONGC.[O/R]

Meanwhile, domestic investors await the outcome of the central bank’s policy meeting where it is widely expected to keep the repo rate unchanged on Friday.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel


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