Losses in financial stocks drag Indian shares lower
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares ended lower for a second straight session on Tuesday, weighed down by losses in financial stocks, while heavyweight oil and gas companies tracked a fall in oil prices.

Benchmark indexes NSE Nifty 50 index and the S&P BSE Sensex ended down 0.42% at 15,748.45 and 0.35% lower at 52,549.66, respectively.

Markets have struggled for momentum this week following record highs on the back of declining COVID-19 cases, easing of pandemic-induced restrictions and a surge in vaccinations.

Sentiment was also dented as global markets inched back from record highs on concerns about new coronavirus outbreaks in Asia undercutting an economic recovery.

In Mumbai trading, the Nifty Bank Index ended 0.99% lower. Private-sector lenders ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank lost 1.6% each.

Indian oil and gas heavyweights reflected the dip in oil prices with state-owned companies Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Indian Oil Corp falling 2.4% each. Worries about slower fuel demand growth due to outbreaks of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 led to a drop in oil prices for a second day.

The Nifty Pharma Index was the only major sector to end in positive territory, gaining 0.58% and posting its third straight session of gains. Drugmaker Cipla added 1.7% after CNBC-TV18 reported the company had received regulatory approval to import the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna.

Amongst other stocks, Indian Railway Finance Corp ended up over 2% after reporting a higher profit for the March quarter.

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