Indian shares slip as pharma, metal stocks fall; LIC opens for subscription

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai

By Rama Venkat

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares erased modest gains from earlier in the session to trade lower on Wednesday, as metal and pharmaceutical stocks declined ahead of the country's biggest IPO and an expected rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.56% at 16,973.95 by 0456 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.31% to 56,798.83. The Indian markets were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Nifty's finance, metal and pharma sub-indexes were among the top segment losers, declining between 0.5% and nearly 2%.

"The market has more or less discounted for the Federal Reserve's expected rate hike and that's why there is not much of a movement," said Aishvarya Dadheech, a fund manager at Ambit Asset Management.

The market will remain rangebound for the next two to three months, with high volatility, Dadheech added, pointing to the 17,000 range the Nifty 50 has been hovering around since last month.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates by 50 basis points when the central bank's meeting concludes later in the day. The market will be watching for signals about the future path for interest rates, the Fed's plans for reducing its balance sheet and its view on when inflation will recede.

India's state-run insurer Life Insurance Corporation's initial public offering will open for subscription on Wednesday.

Nifty 50 components Kotak Mahindra Bank and Tata Consumer Products were trading 0.09% and 0.18% higher, ahead of their quarterly earnings results.

Among other stocks, Titan Company fell over 3%, after the jewellery maker on Tuesday reported a 7.2% fall in March-quarter profit.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru;Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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