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BENGALURU: Indian shares declined on Wednesday as Bajaj Finance led a slide in financials after disappointing results and due to nagging concerns about elevated oil prices and US interest rates as well as the Middle East conflict.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.71% lower at 19,671.10, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.83% to 65,877.02.

Bajaj Finance shed 2.80% and was the top Nifty loser after the non-bank lender posted a smaller-than-expected rise in quarterly profit.

That weighed on all financials, with the broad banks and financial services indexes dropping 1.17% and 1.28%, respectively.

The risk of a widening conflict in the Middle East boosted crude oil prices, which tends to hurt net importers like India.

Oil marketing companies Hindustan Petroleum Corp, IOCL and Bharat Petroleum Crop fell between 1.2% and 2%, dragging the energy index down 0.96%, on fears that high oil prices would hit marketing margins.

“The geopolitical concerns in the Middle East have led to near-term uncertainty across global markets,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

“Global factors like the Israel-Hamas conflict and rate concerns in the U.S” have fueled the volatility in Indian equities over the last few sessions, Khemka said.

US data showed consumer spending picked up in September, dashing hopes of respite any time soon from punishingly high interest rates.

That weighed on IT stocks, which fell 0.59%. The industry has been under pressure due to weak spending by US and European clients. Wipro fell nearly 1% ahead of its quarterly results after the bell.

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance fell 2.27% after its second-quarter margins contracted.

Biocon lost 6.38% after the US drug regulator indicated action on the company’s insulin manufacturing facility in Malaysia.

However, broadly pharma stocks gained 0.78%.

Jefferies noted improving market share for key drugs in the US market and expectations of a pick-up in earnings, citing IQVIA/industry sales data.

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