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BENGALURU: Indian shares closed lower for a second straight session on Thursday, as losses in IT and energy outweighed bank gains, with investors seemingly looking past the U.S. Federal Reserve’s comments suggesting a continued hawkish stance.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.17% lower at 18,052.70, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.11% at 60,836.41.

The benchmark indexes fell as much as 0.7% each earlier in the session to mark their biggest intraday percentage drop in three weeks, tracking a decline in broader equities.

“Our market has not reacted too negatively because we have been seeing good foreign investor inflows in the last three-four days,” said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities.

“There have been pretty strong corporate results. What the Fed does will be data dependent.”

Foreign institutional investors bought a net 14.36 billion Indian rupees ($173.61 million) worth of equities on Wednesday, as per provisional data available with the National Stock Exchange.

Indian shares close at over nine-month high; Fed in focus

The Fed raised rates by 75 basis points on Wednesday and said its battle against inflation will require borrowing costs to rise further.

Focus will now turn to U.S. jobs data on Friday, which could offer some cues on future interest rate hikes.

The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)was scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss its response to the government after failing to meet its inflation target for three consecutive quarters. However, Governor Shaktikanta Das said the RBI would not immediately make details of its report public.

In domestic trading, Nifty’s IT and energy indexes declined 1.18% and 0.55%, respectively, while the public sector bank index closed rose 2.52% higher.

Among stocks, Adani Wilmar Ltd closed 2.4% lower after reporting a 73% slump in September-quarter profit.

Indigo Paints ended 11.9% higher, reporting a second-quarter profit that more than doubled.

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