Indian shares set to snap post-budget rally as financials drag

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares fell on Thursday, as financial stocks took a breather after a three-day post-budget rally that saw the main indexes hit record highs.

The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.23% to 14,755.70 by 0348 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.29% at 50,108.69.

Oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries declined 0.4% after it said its unit will sell its interest in certain upstream assets in the Marcellus shale in the United States for $250 million to Northern Oil and Gas Inc.

Bank stocks were among the top drags on the Nifty 50, with top private-sector lender HDFC Bank falling 1.7%. The lender also weighed on the Nifty Bank index, which fell 1.1%. The index has risen 12.5% so far this week.

Shares of India’s largest lender SBI fell 0.6% ahead of the bank’s quarterly earnings.

Broader Asian shares dipped as tight liquidity conditions in China curbed buying for now, though improving corporate earnings, expectations of large U.S. stimulus and subsiding retail frenzy all supported risk sentiment.

Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V