September 21, 2017 / 6:50 AM / 10 months ago

Indian shares fall; ICICI Bank top drag

* NSE index down 0.44 pct, BSE index 0.36 pct lower

* Nifty PSU bank index falls up to 1.4 pct on profit-taking

* Dr. Reddy’s Labs rises after Morgan Stanley raises rating

By Jessica Kuruthukulangara

Sept 21 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell on Thursday, dragged down largely by banks including ICICI Bank as investors booked profits a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled one more rate hike by the end of this year.

The Fed held interest rates steady and announced a plan to start shrinking its balance sheet by reducing its holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

“After the Fed rate decision, Asian markets have come under slight pressure but it hasn’t been a tipping point for Indian markets,” said Anand James, chief market strategist with Geojit Financial Services.

MSCI’s broadest dollar-denominated index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.5 percent.

“From a domestic point of view, investors are locking in gains after the markets sustained at peak levels for a long time. The market is looking for further cues to push prices higher,” he added.

The broader NSE index was down 0.44 percent at 10,096.65 as of 0608 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.36 percent lower at 32,284.01. Both indexes were headed for a third straight session of decline.

ICICI Bank fell as much as 2.4 percent to its lowest since Aug. 11, making it the top drag on both indexes.

The Nifty PSU bank index fell as much as 1.4 percent, heading for a fourth session of fall in five, on profit-taking.

Andhra Bank Ltd fell more than 4 percent and Oriental Bank of Commerce Ltd declined 2.9 percent after eight straight sessions of gains.

The Nifty Pharma Index climbed as much as 2.7 percent, with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd leading the way after brokerage Morgan Stanley raised its rating and price target. Ltd declined as much as 8.7 percent to 899.30 rupees on its trading debut, compared with the IPO issue price of 985 rupees.

The Nifty FMCG index dropped as much as 1.1 percent, with ITC Ltd declining up to 1.3 percent after two consecutive sessions of gains. (Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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