Indian shares decline amid rate fears, foreign selling

People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building which was lit up during Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in Mumbai

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares fell on Thursday, dragged by financial and tech stocks, as foreign selling continued amid persisting fears of a prolonged high rate regime.

The Nifty 50 index fell 0.74% to 17,321.90, while the S&P BSE Sensex closed 0.84% lower to 58,909.35.

The benchmarks have logged losses in nine of the last 10 sessions after snapping an eight-day losing streak on Wednesday.

Eleven of the 13 major sectoral indexes fell with the high weightage financials losing 0.85% and information technology shedding 1.26%, respectively.

Nine of the 10 constituents of the IT index logged losses, led by a 1.90% decline in Tata Consultancy Services and 1.6% fall at Infosys.

The slide in the IT sector, which earns a significant share of its revenue from the United States, comes after official data showed rise in raw material prices, heightening fears of elevated levels of inflation that could prolong the high rate regime.

IT companies could see some project cutbacks in the next few months as customers rationalise tech spending, per analysts at Antique Stock Broking.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold a net 387.89 billion rupees ($4.70 billion) of Indian equities thus far into the year.

Foreign selling in Indian equities

"A liquidity dry-up due to foreign selling, continuing weakness in earnings and lack of retail support will continue to pile pressure on markets for the next few months," said Avinash Gorakshakar, head of research at Profitmart Securities.

Maruti Suzuki India fell 2.46% after the country's top car maker warned of a fall in output in March due to a shortage of electronic components.

On the other hand, Rail Vikas Nigam climbed over 12% after emerging as the lowest bidder to make and maintain 200 Vande Bharat trainsets.

Macrotech Developers surged 20% after the company estimated its pre-sales to grow at an average annual growth rate of 20% and reach 200 bln rupees by fiscal year 2026.

($1 = 82.4900 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru;Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Nivedita Bhattacharjee)