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Indian shares settle lower as metals, private lenders drag
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares ended lower for a second straight session on Thursday, as metal stocks fell after China said it would stabilise commodity markets and major private banks gave up early gains.

The blue-chip Nifty 50 index closed 0.83% lower at 14,906.05 and the S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.68% lower at 49,564.86 after trading flat for most of the day. Most major sub-indexes closed in the red.

Metal stocks were the biggest drag during the session, with the Nifty metal index shedding 3.2%. It fell as much as 3.9% after China said it would strengthen its management of commodity supply and demand to curb "unreasonable" increases in prices.

Financial stocks, which had cushioned losses earlier in the day, gave up gains. Index heavyweight ICICI Bank fell 1.1% and HDFC Bank settled 1.6% lower.

"There is a sense of fear about what might come next on the inflation front ... this is driving participants to book some profits in recent gainers," said A.K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital in Mumbai.

Investor sentiment, which was upbeat at the start of the week, took a hit on Wednesday after global stocks receded over worries about an uptick in U.S. inflation. Both the Nifty and Sensex had settled 0.5% lower in the previous session.

Among the few gainers on Thursday, auto component maker Bosch Ltd closed up 7.2% after it reported a jump in March-quarter net profit.

In broader Asia, stocks paused after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy meeting flagged the possibility of a debate on scaling back asset purchases and diminished risk appetite.

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