India

Indian shares end lower, snap five weeks of gains

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BENGALURU, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Indian shares closed lower for a fourth straight session on Friday, weighed by weakness in private banks and technology stocks and concerns about the global economy and inflation, pushing the indexes to record their first weekly slide in six.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) ended 0.49% lower at 17,532.05, and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) was down 0.61% at 58,765.58.

For the week, the Nifty 50 and the BSE Sensex lost 1.8% and 2.1%, respectively. Prior to this week, the indexes had posted five consecutive weekly gains on accommodative monetary policy and the easing of COVID-19 curbs.

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On Friday, however, signs of a stagnation in the global economic recovery and rising inflation spooked investors, with expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could tighten policy in the coming months gathering steam.

"Indian markets are currently richly valued and therefore not immune from some of these headwinds," said Unmesh Kulkarni, managing director and senior advisor at Julius Baer India.

Yet, "the equity market mood in India is reflecting the optimism around a strong domestic recovery in growth and demand with the ongoing normalisation of the economy", Kulkarni said.

Among individual shares and sectors, private banks (.NIFPVTBNK) fell 0.6%, with Federal Bank Ltd (FED.NS) skidding 1.4% to lead losses on the sub-index.

Technology stocks (.NIFTYIT) dropped, with Mphasis Ltd (MBFL.NS) sliding 2.5%.

Real estate stocks (.NIFTYREAL) snapped two sessions of gains, while metal stocks (.NIFTYMET) rebounded from the previous session's loss.

Takeover target Zee Entertainment (ZEE.NS) declined 2.4% after its board denied requests from top shareholders to convene an extraordinary general meeting. read more

Debt-laden telecom company Vodafone Idea (VODA.NS) and larger peer Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS) fell 4.2% and 1.8%, respectively, after local media reported that the Department of Telecommunications issued notices to the companies to pay 30.50 billion rupees ($411.47 million) in penalties in three weeks.

($1 = 74.1240 Indian rupees)

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Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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