Indian shares pause after strong rally; Vodafone Idea slides 15%

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A general view of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai, India, January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell on Thursday after two straight days of strong gains, as banking shares retreated, while troubled Indian telecom operator Vodafone Idea tumbled 15% after its non-executive chairman stepped down.

By 0348 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) was mostly unchanged at 16,270 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) rose 0.07% to 54,408.12.

The Nifty banking index (.NSEBANK), which rose over 2.3% in the previous session, was the top drag, down 0.5%.

Vodafone Idea (VODA.NS) dropped after billionaire industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla stepped down as the telecom operator's non-executive chairman on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida — a major architect of the U.S. central bank's new policy strategy — said in an overnight speech he felt the conditions for raising interest rates could be met by the end of 2022. read more

The speech comes at a time Indian markets are closely watching the country's central bank policy outcome on Friday on cues for liquidity even as it is mostly expected to be stay put on rates. read more

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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