Indian shares hit 1-week low as pharma drags, Reliance falls 2%

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A woman walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares touched their lowest level in about a week on Wednesday, pressured by pharmaceutical stocks and a 2% fall in shares of oil-to-chemicals conglomerate Reliance Industries.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended down 0.56% at 17,898.65 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.52% to 60,008.33. Both indexes touched their lowest since Nov. 11.

Leading losses, the Nifty pharma index fell 1.3% to touch its lowest level in nearly three weeks, after Strides Pharma Science and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals fell around 3%.

Reliance and Axis Bank, weighed the most on the blue-chip Nifty 50, falling about 2% each.

The Nifty Energy index, a sub-index of oil and gas companies such as Reliance, Indian Oil Corporation and Adani Transmission, fell 0.5% after crude prices declined. [O/R]

Auto stocks, bucked the trend to rise 0.71%, helped by shares of Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki India.

The sub-index has rallied this week on media reports of an easing chip shortage, with India's finance ministry also saying on Wednesday that it expected an improvement in semiconductor supplies.

In global markets, the dollar jumped on Wednesday, as strong U.S. retail sales data fuelled bets on an earlier Federal Reserve rate hikes. Shares in Europe made slim gains after Asian markets had wobbled on worries about COVID-19. [MKTS/GLOB]

(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Amy Caren Daniel)

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