Indian shares end lower, clock best quarter so far this year

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BENGALURU (Businesshala) – Indian stocks closed lower for a third straight session on Thursday, dragged by metals and private banking stocks, but posted their best quarterly gains of the year and a fifth consecutive monthly jump.

FILE PHOTO: A woman passes near the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.53% lower at 17,618.15 on Thursday, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.48% to 59,126.36.

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For the quarter, the indices climbed over 12% each and marked their sixth straight quarterly profit. A liberal monetary policy and easing of COVID-19 restrictions propelled stocks to record highs and helped them outperform Asian peers.

On a monthly basis, the main indices jumped over 2.7% each in September.

On Thursday, however, broader concerns about a global economic recovery, expectations of a tighter US monetary policy, risks from power shortages in China and a possible default by China Evergrande weighed on the market.

Anita Gandhi, director, Arihant Capital Markets, said derivatives expiry – which happens on the last Thursday of every month – also added to the selling pressure.

Private banks fell for the third consecutive session. Axis Bank dropped 2% to lead losses on the subindex.

Metal stocks too fell in three sessions of losses, with Hindustan Zinc falling over 3%.

Indian Overseas Bank-run public sector banks advanced after the country’s central bank pulled out of the prompt corrective action framework.

Media stocks also fell, following losses in the acquisition target of Zee Entertainment, after its top shareholders approached the Company Law Tribunal asking the firm to hold an extraordinary general meeting.

Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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