Indian shares end 2% lower as Reliance weighs; banks, auto, realty drag

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A woman walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares declined their most in seven months on Monday, dragged by heavyweight Reliance Industries, with losses in financial, auto and oil and gas shares pulling indexes further.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended down 1.96% at 17,416.55, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex declined 1.96% to 58,465.89. Both indexes hit their lowest levels since Sept. 13.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries fell as much as 4.94% to its lowest in over two months after it decided to halt a proposed $15-billion stake sale in its oil-to-chemicals business to Saudi Arabia's Aramco.

The conglomerate's shares ended Monday 4.43% lower, and dragged Nifty's Energy Index down 2.84%, with nearly all components on the sub-index ending the session down.

Oil prices came off seven-week lows, but were under pressure after Japan said it was weighing releasing oil reserves and as the COVID-19 situation in Europe worsened, raising concerns about both oversupply and weak demand. [O/R]

Among other shares and sectors, digital payments firm Paytm fell as much as 18.57% before ending down 12.8%, shaving off $7.75 billion from its market value since the dismal debut of India's biggest initial public offering last week.

"Subdued listing and continued weak trading of Paytm is a big sentimental setback to the domestic market," Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services, said in a note.

The Nifty public sector banks index ended down 4.5%, with Indian Bank and Union Bank of India among the top losers, down 10.3% and 6.50% respectively.

The auto and realty indexes were among other major losers, ending down 3.13% and 4.14% respectively.

Telecom stocks bucked the trend, led by Bharti Airtel, which rose to a record high and ended 3.85% up after the telecom major announced tariff hikes effective Nov. 26.

(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Shailesh Kuber and Uttaresh.V)

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