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Sensex, Nifty fall from record highs, agrochemical firm UPL weighs
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares stumbled on Thursday and the Nifty snapped a seven-session streak of gains, dragged down by agrochemical company UPL, as stock markets across the globe took a breather following recent record highs.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.38% lower at 13,478.30, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.31% at 45,959.88, snapping five sessions of gains.

Asian equities also inched away from record highs and the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.34% lower on uncertainty about U.S. stimulus and after Britain's medicine regulator issued an anaphylaxis warning on Pfizer's vaccine following some adverse reactions.

In Mumbai trading, UPL Ltd was the biggest loser on the Nifty but it recovered some losses in late afternoon trade after the agrochemical maker denied a report that promoters siphoned off money.

UPL stock, which fell as much as 15.53% after the Economic Times reported a whistleblower complaint, finished the session 11.3% lower.

The Nifty Midcap 100 Index, which has outperformed the blue-chip indexes so far this year, snapped nine sessions of gains to close 0.83% lower.

India's main indexes have hit record highs in 14 of the last 21 sessions and are up around 4% so far in December, mainly driven by hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine.

India's drugs regulator on Wednesday said it needed more data to decide on emergency authorisation for vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech.

On Thursday, 10 of the 13 Nifty sub-indexes ended lower with the Nifty PSU bank index closing 1.5% down.

Cement stocks ACC Ltd, Ambuja Cement and UltraTech Cement slid between 1.45% and 3.5% after Reuters reported late Wednesday that India's antitrust body conducted raids at the companies' offices.

Bucking the trend, the Nifty FMCG index hit a record high to settle 2.8% higher.

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