Indian shares fell on Tuesday, dragged down by auto and financial stocks, amid growing fears of surging inflation in the country and ahead of a series of major central bank meetings this week, including the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.25% lower at 17,324.90 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.29% to 58,117.09.
The rupee hit 75.94 per dollar, its lowest since June 2020, pressured by continued outflows and monetary policy divergence between the Indian central bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve, analysts said.
The Fed is expected to signal a faster wind-down of asset purchases, while the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are also meeting this week.
Meanwhile, India’s annual wholesale price-based inflation, a proxy figure for producers’ prices, accelerated to a record high in November, fuelling concerns of rising inflationary pressure.
“Due to elevated levels of inflation and weak Asian markets, the domestic indices extended losses ahead of the U.S. Fed policy announcement,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
The Nifty auto index, which dropped 0.7%, and the finance index, which fell 0.6%, were the top drags.
Among individual stocks, Anand Rathi Wealth opened at a 9% premium in its Mumbai market debut. Drugmaker Lupin Ltd surged 6.7% after its Goa manufacturing plant received the establishment inspection report from the U.S. federal drug regulator.
Shares of Aditya Birla Fashion rose 6.7% after the company said it will buy exclusive online and offline rights to the global sportswear brand Reebok for the Indian market.
Markets were also closely watching the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant and measures taken by various countries to contain the spread.