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Sensex, Nifty end at near one-month low as banks, Reliance decline
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares slid on Wednesday to end at a near one-month low, dragged by losses in bank stocks and Reliance Industries, while pre-budget jitters also weighed on sentiment.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 1.91% to 13,967.5 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed 1.94% weaker at 47,409.93.

Reliance Industries fell as much as 2.7% and was among the top drags after U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon.com sought to block Future Group's $3.4 billion retail asset sale to the conglomerate.

The Nifty Bank index fell 2.9%, with private sector lenders Axis Bank and HDFC Bank, declining 4% and 3.6% respectively.

"The market valuations have become stretched and most of the positives are factored in the price," said Naveen Kulkarni, chief investment officer at Axis Securities.

A Reuters poll of economists showed that India's budget, due on Feb. 1, would help a significant economic recovery in financial year 2021/22.

"The upcoming budget will be a tight rope walk for the government and negative surprises of higher taxation, that could impact consumption, which cannot be ruled out. Needless to say, the market has become jittery ahead of this major event" Kulkarni added.

The Nifty Metals index closed 2.5% lower, with shares of Tata Steel Ltd and Hindalco falling 4% and 3.7% respectively.

Of all the sectoral indexes, only the Nifty FMCG index was up, ending the day 0.3% higher.

Shares of consumer products maker Marico ended the day 0.6% higher after the firm's consolidated net profit for the third quarter rose to 3.07 billion rupees.

Investors also await results from private-sector lender Axis Bank later in the day.

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