Indian shares post worst week since November on concerns over rate hikes

·2-min read
A man looks at a screen displaying news of markets update inside the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai

By Rama Venkat

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares closed over 1% lower on Friday and registered their worst week since November, as investors fretted that fast-paced interest rate hikes to fight surging inflation would slow global economic growth.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 1.63% at 16,411.25 at close, with most of its sub-indexes in the negative territory. The S&P BSE Sensex fell 1.56% to 54,835.58.

The Indian rupee weakened as much as 0.9% to 76.97 against the dollar earlier in the session, its lowest level since March 7. It settled at 76.91.

The benchmark indexes also posted a fourth consecutive weekly fall, weighed down by a surprise interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India, foreign fund outflows and mixed corporate earnings results.

Foreign investors have net sold Indian equities worth $635 million so far this week, compared with $881 million offloaded in the same period last week, according to Refinitiv data.

"Domestic markets are lower on the global headlines, which are focusing more on high inflation as well as the Fed rate increase two days ago," said Prashanth Tapse, vice president of research at Mehta Equities.

The Fed on Wednesday raised interest rates by half a percentage point as expected and Chair Jerome Powell explicitly ruled out a 75-basis-point hike in the next policy meeting.

Nifty's metal, IT, finance and realty were among the top losers, declining between 2% and 3.5%.

Reliance Industries, India's most valuable company, fell 0.8%. The oil-to-retail conglomerate is due to report quarterly results later in the day.

Agrochemical maker UPL fell 4.4%. The company said https://bit.ly/3kMSPuW fire at one of its plants at Ankleshwar in the state of Gujarat injured five people and UPL was investigating the cause.

Global stocks fell on Friday as markets anticipated more U.S. rate hikes, while Asian peers declined on fears about the hit to growth from China's zero-COVID policy. [MKTS/GLOB]

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru and additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi, Subhranshu Sahu and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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