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Indian shares edge lower; lenders, drugmakers fall
March 21, 2017 / 7:24 AM / 7 months ago

Indian shares edge lower; lenders, drugmakers fall

* NSE index down 0.29 pct, BSE index 0.37 pct lower

* Nifty Pharma index slumps

* Morgan Stanley downgrades banks

By Aby Jose Koilparambil

March 21 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell for a second consecutive session on Tuesday, as lenders such as Axis Bank were hit by a Morgan Stanley downgrade while worries of regulatory action from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration triggered selling in drugmakers.

Analysts expect a period of consolidation ahead as investors focus on individual stock movements as they wait for the earnings season to start in mid-April.

“The markets have been trending up since December. I think this week market may just cool off,” said Sacchidanand Uttekar, equity technical analyst at Motilal Oswal Securities.

“There will be profit booking in major index-contributing stocks including Reliance Industries.”

The broader NSE index had closed at a record high last week.

The index was down 0.29 percent at 9,100.45 by 0713 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.37 percent lower at 29,408.59.

Banks were among the biggest losers after Morgan Stanley downgraded a slew of large Indian lenders, citing expectation of weak earnings.

Axis Bank fell 2.72 percent and ICICI Bank lost 0.80 percent.

Drug makers slumped on worries of regulatory action from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Divi’s Laboratories Ltd fell as much as 20 percent following an import alert issued by the USFDA on products manufactured at its Visakhapatnam unit

Shares of Avenue Supermarts Ltd more than doubled in value on their trading debut. Analysts expect strong potential for its supermarkets and retail stores.

Bharti Infratel was up more than a percent after Nettle Infra Investments bought about 21.63 percent stake in co from promoter Bharti Airtel. (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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