Indian shares fall on profit taking after Nifty 50 scales record high

FILE PHOTO: A security guard walks past the logo of the National Stock Exchange inside its building in Mumbai

By Manvi Pant and Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares dropped on Friday, as profit booking emerged after the Nifty 50 scaled a record high, trimming weekly gains for the blue-chip indexes.

The blue-chip Nifty 50 fell 0.8% and S&P BSE Sensex dropped 1% on the day, dragged by information technology stocks. The Nifty 50 rose about 0.6% to a peak earlier in the session.

The benchmarks added about 0.25% each this week, their second consecutive weekly rise.

"Markets are finding it difficult to rise significantly despite mostly positive quarterly results, as they have run up over the last six months on hopes of a return of ruling BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) to power after national elections," Avinash Gorakshakar, head of research at Profitmart Securities said.

The profit booking and elevated volatility will continue until the results of India's general election and any gains will be incremental, Gorakshakar said.

India's national elections are underway, with two of the seven phases completed. The results will be announced on June 4.

Indian markets underperformed other Asian peers on the day. [MKTS/GLOB]

The Nifty volatility index rose to a two-month high at close.

High weightage financials gained more than 2%, led by non-bank lender Bajaj Finance, which jumped 3% after the central bank lifted a five-month ban on some of its lending products.

IT stocks dropped 2.25%, dragged by an 8.5% decline in HCLTechnologies after the software services company missed March quarter revenue estimates, making it this week's top loser on the Nifty 50 index. Expectations of higher-for-longer U.S. interest rates have been weighing on India's IT sector, as elevated rates have resulted in lower client spending the U.S., a key market. Auto stocks gained about 2%, supported by strong monthly sales from Mahindra & Mahindra and Bajaj Auto.

Mahindra & Mahindra rose about 7% and was the top percentage gainer on the Nifty 50.

(Reporting by Manvi Pant and Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Eileen Soreng, Savio D'Souza, Sonia Cheema and Mrigank Dhaniwala)