Indian shares retreat from record highs, realty stocks weigh

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Gardeners work outside the National Stock Exchange building in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended flat at close on Tuesday, pulling back after three consecutive sessions of record highs, with blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index dragged lower by losses in realty and technology stocks.

The Nifty 50 index closed 0.09% lower at 17,362.10 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex settled 0.03% down at 58,279.48.

Trading was choppy for most of the session, with the indexes falling as much as 0.5% each, but briefly scaled record levels in the afternoon before retreating and closing in negative territory.

A market awash with liquidity, optimism from India's vaccination progress and signs of businesses returning to pre-pandemic levels have helped the Nifty 50 hit record highs for 14 times in the last one month, while the Sensex scaled new peaks 12 times in the same period.

On Tuesday, the Nifty Realty Index declined the most among major sub-indexes, closing down 2.33%. Real estate firm Prestige Estates Projects snapped five sessions of gains and closed 5.8% lower.

The Nifty IT index, down 1.31%, marked its first fall after three sessions of gains.

IT firms Wipro Ltd and Infosys Ltd were among the top losers on the Nifty 50, shedding over 1% each.

Capping some of the losses was shadow lender HDFC Ltd and telecom firm Bharti Airtel Ltd, both gaining over 2% each.

Among other stock gainers, steel-tube maker APL Apollo Tubes Ltd closed 3.6% higher. Brokerage Motilal Oswal, which started coverage on the stock with a "buy" rating, said it expects the company's profitability to improve due to higher demand across product segments, launch of new products, robust distribution network and higher margins.

Globally, stocks hit record highs on growing bets the U.S. Federal Reserve will push back tapering its bond purchases and keep its expansive policy for the near term. [MKTS/GLOB]

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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