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BENGALURU: Indian shares closed lower for a fourth straight session as public sector banks and information technology companies fell on Thursday, while investors worried about aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve after hot U.S. inflation data.

The NSE Nifty 50 index and the S&P BSE Sensex ended down 0.18% at 15,938.65 and 53,416.15, respectively.

U.S. consumer prices accelerated in June, resulting in the largest annual increase in inflation in 40-1/2 years and cementing the case for the Fed to hike interest rates by 75 basis points later this month.

Strong domestic inflation data earlier this week also raised the prospect of more rate hikes by the Reserve Bank of India, supported by the rupee hitting record lows against the greenback for a fourth straight session.

With Indian and U.S. CPI out of the way, markets will now increasingly take a stock specific action as the domestic earnings season has began, said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Indian shares drop on caution ahead of inflation data

Shares of Butterfly Gandhimathi Appliances surged 18% after its June-quarter net profit soared, while Hindustan Zinc jumped 6% after the company approved its biggest dividend since October 2020. The Nifty public sector bank index fell 2.2%, while the IT index dropped 1.6%. The pharma index rose 0.8%, while the energy index advanced 1%.

Sun Pharmaceuticals was the top gainer in the Nifty 50 index, rising 2.3%, while Hero Motocorp fell the most at 1.8%.

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