Mahindra & Mahindra, banks hold up Indian shares' record rally

A man walks past the new logo of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai

By Bharath Rajeswaran and Manvi Pant

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares declined on Wednesday, weighed by banks on worries of moderation in their earnings and by Mahindra and Mahindra after it slashed prices of some cars.

The benchmarks NSE Nifty 50 fell 0.45% to 24,324.45 points, while the S&P BSE Sensex settled 0.53% lower at 79,924.77. Both the indexes opened at record highs before reversing course.

The Nifty has gained about 8% since the beginning of June, hitting record-high levels in 17 of the 27 sessions since, as the national elections ensured policy continuity and on prospects of economic growth.

That made the benchmarks susceptible to profit booking, analysts said.

"The bears remained at the helm as the Nifty 50 slipped by more than 100 points for the first time in many days," said Rupak De, an analyst at LKP Securities.

Mahindra & Mahindra tumbled 6.6% in its worst session since March 2020 after lowering the prices of the top-end variants of its XUV700 sports utility vehicles (SUV).

It was the top loser on the Nifty and led a 2% slide in auto stocks.

Banks fell 0.72%, with state-owned lenders sliding 1.4%.

"Most banks' quarterly updates are not showing good momentum in credit growth (and) markets are expecting flattish margins in the June quarter," said Aishvarya Dadheech, founder and chief investment officer of Fident Asset Management.

The more domestically focussed small- and mid-caps lost 0.9% and 0.3%, respectively.

The markets regulator's expert panel's suggestions for curbs in futures and options trading also hurt sentiment, said analysts. This segment of the market has played a large role in its rally in the past few years.

U.S. rate-sensitive IT stocks lost 1% after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell offered little hints on whether rate cuts would start in September, as is expected.

Among the bright spots, Asian Paints rose 3.15%, the most on the Nifty, after a media report said that the country's biggest paints maker raised prices across its portfolio.

(Reporting by Manvi Pant and Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala and Savio D'Souza)