Indian shares track broader Asia lower on Fed\'s rate hike signal
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares slid about 1.5% on Thursday, in line with weakness in broader Asia, as the U.S. Federal Reserve's signal to steadily tighten policy soured global investor sentiment.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 1.54% to 17,012.95 by 0440 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex dropped 1.56% to 56,963.51, as trade resumed after a public holiday.

Indian indexes suffered deep losses over the past week, erasing all the gains clocked this year, after prospects of tighter monetary policy and tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine triggered a sell-off.

On Thursday, Asian shares hit a more than 14-month low, after Fed chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday said that with inflation high, the central bank this year plans to steadily clamp down on credit. [MKTS/GLOB]

"The Fed policy did not have any negative surprises but global markets have been weak for a while and we'll have to see how the Ukraine situation pans out," said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

"The upcoming Indian budget session will be positive for the economy, no doubt, but we'll have to see if it can overturn our markets."

Only three of the 50 Nifty 50 stocks gained, while all major Nifty sub-indexes slid.

Nifty's volatility index, which indicates the degree of volatility traders expect over the next 30 days, was up 9.4%.

The Nifty IT index sank 2.5% to its lowest since late August and was on track to end lower for an eighth straight session.

Torrent Pharmaceuticals crashed 10% to a nine-week low after reporting a 16% drop in quarterly profit.

Rating agency ICRA surged 9% to an eight-week high after posting December quarter net profit.

Investors await quarterly earnings reports from companies including Canara Bank, Colgate-Palmolive (India) and RBL Bank due later in the day.

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)

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