Indian shares end lower in cautious trade ahead of Fed minutes
By Sethuraman N R and Bharath Rajeswaran
BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares ended lower for the third day in a row on Tuesday, having spent the session in a narrower-than-usual trading range on caution ahead of the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting amid fears of a higher-for-longer interest rate regime.
The Nifty 50 index fell 0.10% down at 17,826.70, while the S&P BSE Sensex dipped 0.03% to 60,672.72. Both benchmarks opened higher before reversing course.
The Nifty traded in a 124-points range, well below this month's daily average of around 195 points.
The minutes of the Fed's latest policy meeting are due on Wednesday and come as recent U.S. data – on inflation, retail sales and jobs — have strengthened the case for further rate hikes, a view that two Fed officials recently advocated for.
"With the kind of domestic, as well as global economic data coming in, we might see a selling in growth stocks and buying in value stocks," said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice-president, research, SMC Global Securities.
Ten of the 13 sectoral indexes declined. The U.S. rates-sensitive IT stocks fell 0.88%, with nine of the 10 constituents in the red. Financials were little changed.
Jain said IT stocks, up 8.7% so far this year, were likely to be losing steam, with investors moving into financial shares.
The fast moving consumer goods index bucked the broader trend to add 0.11%. Marico was the top gainer, rising over 2% after Citi said it expects volume growth of core brands to accelerate.
Siemens rose over 3% and hit a record high, after Jefferies called it its top pick among industrial stocks.
On the flip side, UFlex dropped nearly 2% on reports that the country's income tax department was searching the flexible packaging products manufacturer's office.
Multiple media reports suggested the equity market trade timing is likely to be extended to 5 p.m. IST, from 3:30 p.m. The Securities and Exchange Board of India is yet to comment.
(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran and Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil, Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Savio D'Souza)