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BENGALURU: Indian shares closed lower for a third straight session on Wednesday, pressured by sharp losses in IT stocks, while a risk-off sentiment prevailed on fears of a global economic downturn.

The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.62% to 16,025.80 at close, and the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.56% at 53,749.26.

“Domestic equities are still in a directionless trend because of very high global volatility but mostly this is a sell-on-rise market,” said Prashanth Tapse, vice-president of research at Mehta Equities.

The Nifty IT index closed 3.4% lower, having dropped to its lowest in the session since last June. Infosys , Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro fell between 2% and 3.6%.

A hiring freeze and an increase in employee termination to cut costs are likely to slow the unprecedented demand for tech talent in the coming quarters, a Nomura analyst said in a note.

“This could lead to a material fall in attrition in FY24 forecast, a margin tailwind for the (IT) sector,” the note added.

Among individual stock moves, Asian Paints was the top percentage decliner on the Nifty 50, falling 8%.

Zinc miner Hindustan Zinc closed 3% higher. It had jumped as much as 7.7% in the session after media reports said the government has approved the sale of its stake in the company.

Coal India and InterGlobe Aviation fell 0.9% and 2.2%, respectively, ahead of quarterly earnings results.

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