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Nifty, Sensex end lower as oil surges on Middle East tensions

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended lower on Friday after a U.S. air strike in Iraq killed a top Iranian commander, dampening appetite for risky assets and pushing up oil prices on fears of supply disruptions.

The rupee plunged 0.54% to 71.7575 against the dollar. India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer, imports about 80% of its oil needs, making it highly susceptible to crude price swings.

Shares of oil marketing firms Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd BPCL.NS and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd HPCL.NS ended 0.83% and 2.15% lower, respectively. The Nifty Energy index shed 0.46%.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI closed 0.45% lower at 12,226.65 points, while the S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN closed down 0.39% at 41,464.61 points.

Investors sought refuge in safe haven assets such as gold, with stocks in other Asian as well as European markets taking a hit.

Shares in IT services companies, which receive a bulk of their revenue from overseas and benefit from a weaker rupee, gained. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd TCS.NS closed 2% higher, and was the third biggest gainer on the Nifty 50.

Reporting by Philip George; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty