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BENGALURU: Indian shares fell on Wednesday, dragged by weakness in metals due to weak economic data from China and IT stocks on rate worries ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision.

The NSE Nifty 50 index settled 0.47% lower at 18,989.15, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.44% to 63,591.33.

Eight of the 13 major sectors declined. Metals lost 1.43% and was the top sectoral loser, after data showed a contraction in factory activity in China, the top consumer of metals.

High-weightage IT stocks shed 0.78% ahead of Fed policy, due at 11:30 p.m. IST. While the Fed is widely expected to hold rates, Chair Jerome Powell’s commentary will be crucial.

IT stocks lost 3.8% last month due to weak results from major companies and fears of prolonged high rates in the United States, a key market.

India’s Nifty 50, Sensex log worst month in 2023

“If the Fed chair makes hawkish comments and hints at the possibility of further rate hikes, it could trigger selling pressure across global markets including India,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president - research, retail equities at SMC Global Securities.

Foreign investors sold 245.48 billion rupees ($2.95 billion) worth of Indian shares in October, the most for any month since January as U.S. rate concerns sent Treasury yields spiking.

Among individual stocks, Sun Pharmaceutical jumped 2.54% after posting a better-than-expected quarterly profit, while motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto rose 0.57% after reporting a 19% rise in October sales.

Sun Pharma and Bajaj Auto were among the top Nifty 50 gainers.

Escorts Kubota, on the other hand, lost 2.37% after posting a drop in sales in October.

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