BENGALURU: Indian shares settled lower on Thursday, as losses in financial stocks outweighed a boost from metals and information technology companies, while soaring crude prices continued to curb investor appetite for risky assets.
The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.65% to 16,498.05 at close, and the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.66% at 55,102.68, after slightly gaining earlier in the session on the US Federal Reserve’s signal of a slower pace of monetary tightening.
“A correction in bank stocks is putting pressure on the Nifty and the Sensex,” said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities, adding that inflation worries due to crude prices and higher bond yields have a direct bearing on large banks.
India’s benchmark 10-year bond yield rose to a one-month high on Thursday, tracking crude prices.
Nifty’s bank index, financial services index, and private bank index declined more than 1% each.
Heavyweights State Bank of India, Bajaj Finance Bajaj Finserv, ICICI Bank fell between 1% and over 2%. Nifty’s metal index, the energy index and IT index were among the top performers, rising more than 1% each. Oil and gas explorer ONGC , the top gainer on the Nifty 50, rose 4.5%.
Fed chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that the central bank would begin “carefully” raising interest rates at its upcoming March meeting.