By Rama Venkat
BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares on Wednesday fell to their lowest in two months, extending losses for a fourth straight session as oil prices rose, while investors kept an eye out for U.S. inflation data for cues on the Federal Reserve's rate hike plans.
The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.45% at 16,167.10 at the close, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.51% to 54,088.39. The indexes fell as much as 1.5% in the session to their lowest since March 9.
The Nifty's smallcap index extended losses to an eighth straight session, closing down 2.9%.
Oil rose on Wednesday over supply concerns as the European Union worked on gaining support for a ban on Russian oil and major producers warned they may struggle to fill the gap when demand improves. [O/R]
India is the world's third-largest importer and consumer of oil, and a rise in crude prices tends to push the country's trade and current account deficit higher.
"Rise in oil prices is one of the reasons (for fall in equities) given India's vulnerability, but I mostly think it is in anticipation of inflation print that is going to come for U.S. and India," Yesha Shah, head of equity research at Samco Securities, said.
India's retail inflation data for April is due on Thursday and a Reuters poll showed that inflation likely surged to an 18-month high.
Reliance Industries, Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv led losses on the Nifty 50, falling between 1% and 2%. Shree Cement was the top percentage loser on the Nifty 50, declining 4%.
Technology stocks Infosys and Wipro shed over 1% each and were among top losers on the Nifty 50 index.
Among the few gainers, gas distributors Indraprastha Gas, Mahanagar Gas and Gujarat Gas settled between 1% and 6% higher.
India has mandated state-run GAIL to import gas and buy from local fields to meet growing demand, according to a government order.
(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Shounak Dasgupta)