Indian shares fall as Reliance slides; retail inflation in focus

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BENGALURU — Indian shares fell on Monday, dragged by heavyweight Reliance Industries after the conglomerate delayed the launch of a low-cost smartphone it is developing with Google, with investors awaiting key inflation data due later in the day.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.38% at 17,302.25 by 0450 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.43% to 58,055.41.

Indian equities have remained muted over the last few sessions and posted a weekly gain of roughly 0.3% in the previous week. The main indexes had hit multiple record highs earlier in September.

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“In the absence of major events after the inflation data, we may continue to see some correction or a subdued move in the local market this week… this is not unhealthy given the moves in August and early-September,” said Ajit Mishra, vice president of research at Religare Broking.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries drove losses on the benchmark, falling over 2% after its “ultra-affordable” smartphone — developed jointly by Reliance’s telecom arm and Google — was delayed to November.

The launch was highly anticipated given that it could combine with the company’s other offerings, and the delay has “certainly impacted sentiment,” Mishra added.

Energy stocks fell 1% to lead losses among sub-sectors.

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Private-sector lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Life Insurance Co were among the top losers on the Nifty 50 index.

Suryoday Small Finance Bank jumped as much as 7.8% after a report said lender Clix Capital Services was in merger talks with the bank.

However, Nifty’s IT and metal sub-indexes inched higher, adding 0.57% and 0.34% respectively.

Budget airline SpiceJet rose 0.4% after saying it has settled with another lessor of Boeing Co’s MAX aircraft.

Investors now eye retail inflation data, with a Reuters poll of analysts projecting that the reading held steady in August and stayed within the central bank’s comfort zone.

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

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