Indian shares log biggest weekly drop in a month on rate hike fears

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai

By Chandini Monnappa

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares fell more than 1% on Friday and posted their biggest weekly loss in a month as investors shunned risky assets on worries that aggressive interest rate hikes by global central banks would stifle economic growth.

Dragged down by losses in financial and technology stocks, the NSE Nifty 50 index ended 1.68% lower at 16,201.80 and the S&P BSE Sensex fell 1.84% to 54,303.44.

Both the indexes logged losses of more than 2% for a week where the domestic central bank delivered its second straight interest hike and the European Central Bank signalled it would tighten monetary policy for the first time in a decade.

"Global stock markets are seeing negative moves post the ECB meeting. Comments on inflation and the upcoming U.S. Fed meeting will be key data points that will help markets decide next moves," said Narendra Solanki, head of equity research (fundamental) at Anand Rathi Investment Services.

Investors expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by 50 basis points next week, especially if U.S. consumer price data on Friday confirms elevated inflation.

Leading losses in Mumbai trading, technology stocks fell 2.2% and clocked a weekly loss of 2.7%. The sector has lost nearly a quarter of its market value so far this year, as rising interest rates darken the outlook for the industry.

Financial stocks closed 2.2% lower on the day and logged a 3% drop for the week, dragged down by a 4% slide in lender Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Among the few gainers, IIFL Finance closed 7.7% higher after it said a unit of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority would invest 22 billion rupees ($282.74 million) in its subsidiary.

Sugar manufacturers also advanced after state fuel retailers agreed to provide monetary relief to sugar mills and other producers of ethanol.

($1 = 77.8100 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Aditya Soni)

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