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Sensex, Nifty end slightly lower as financials, Reliance weigh
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares closed a tad lower on Thursday as financial stocks and conglomerate Reliance Industries slipped, eclipsing strong gains in defensive sectors such as information technology and pharmaceuticals.

The Nifty closed down 0.07% at 11,527.45, while the Sensex ended 0.24% lower at 38,990.94.

Earlier in the day, an industry survey showed activity in India's coronavirus-crippled services industry contracted for a sixth straight month in August, albeit at a slower pace than July.

Investor sentiment was also dampened as U.S. stock futures fell as a rally in technology stocks cooled and investors awaited a batch of economic data. 

"Traders and investors in the near term would like to wait and watch for more clarity in ... where the market is leading. Valuations are high and we have had a big runup, so traders are not in a hurry to put in their money right now," said Umesh Mehta, head of research at Samco Securities.

The Nifty Bank index fell 1.44%, as India's top court heard a case for waiving interest rates on loans under a moratorium. ICICI Bank Ltd was the top laggard on the Nifty, closing 2.5% down.

India's most valuable company, Reliance, closed 0.8% lower.

The Nifty IT index closed 1.5% higher. IT majors Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services were the top boosts to the Nifty, closing 1.3% and 1.5% higher, respectively. The Nifty pharma index closed 0.94% higher.

Shares in Vodafone Idea closed 26.8% higher after a report said Verizon Communications Ltd and Amazon.com Inc may invest more than $4 billion for a stake in the telecom firm.

Grasim Industries Ltd, a shareholder of Vodafone Idea, closed 6.8% higher and was among the top percentage gainers on the Nifty.

The Nifty Auto index closed up 0.91%, with Tata Motors up 1% after reporting higher August sales.

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