Indian shares snap 8-session rally, U.S. jobs data loom

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

BENGALURU, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Indian shares snapped an eight-session winning streak on Friday, but held on to weekly gains, as investors took profits ahead of U.S. payrolls data that could provide more cues on a shift in the Federal Reserve's rate-hike plans.

The S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) closed 0.66% down at 62,868.50, while the Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) settled 0.62% lower at 18,696.10. The Nifty 50 rose 3.6% over the last eight sessions.

Investors were booking some profits after the recent run-up, said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets, adding at higher valuations there is a shift happening from expensive stocks to value stocks.

The Nifty Midcap 100 (.NIFMDCP100) outperformed its larger peers, climbing 4.5% in the last eight days.

For the week, the Sensex and Nifty rose 0.92% and 0.99%, respectively, boosted by expectations of smaller rate hikes by the Fed from its December policy meeting.

Investors will be watching the U.S. non-farm payrolls data, due at 7:00 pm IST (1330 GMT) and is likely to show job growth was the smallest in nearly two years in November.

The report comes on the heels of data signalling the Fed's rate hikes have cooled the economy.

Market participants now expect the Reserve Bank of India to raise interest rates by a smaller 35 basis points next week, according to economists polled by Reuters. read more

Among the top sectoral losers was the Nifty Auto index (.NIFTYAUTO), shedding 1.10%, led by losses in Bajaj Auto (BAJA.NS), Mahindra (MAHM.NS) and Eicher Motors (EICH.NS), as analysts flagged tepidness in rural demand.

"Auto stocks will be under pressure for some time," said Rahul Sharma, market strategist and head of research at Equity99.

"But soon there will be momentum due to ongoing infra-activities by the government as well as the overall pick up in demand post festive season."

Nifty Realty (.NIFTYREAL) rose 0.94%, aided by gains in Macrotech Developers (.MACE.NS), after Jefferies tweaked its India long-only portfolio and increased weightage on the stock.

($1 = 81.1600 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Akansha Victor in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Eileen Soreng

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.