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Sensex, Nifty end lower for first time in new year; Reliance drags
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares ended lower on Wednesday, dragged down by market heavyweight Reliance Industries, and tracking broader global markets that fell on the possibility of a Democratic sweep in Senate runoffs in Georgia.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.38% lower at 14,146.25, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex ended down 0.54% at 48,174.06. Both indexes had notched record closing highs in the past three sessions of the new year.

Global stocks fell on a possible Democrat triumph in Senate runoffs in the U.S. battleground state of Georgia, as that would pave the way for President-elect Joe Biden to push through higher corporate taxes and greater regulation.

Indian conglomerate Reliance fell 2.6%, while consumer giant ITC shed 2.9%. Both stocks were among the top drags on the Nifty 50.

"Here (in domestic trading) all the good companies have already rallied...it is the laggards and underperformers which are doing catch up, like Power Grid and GAIL," said Rusmik Oza, head of fundamental research at Kotak Securities in Mumbai. "Their weights are not very high in the market."

Power Grid Corporation of India and GAIL (India) rose 4.3% and 3.6%, respectively.

Bajaj Finance ended down 1.7%. Late on Tuesday, the central bank imposed a penalty of 25 million rupees on Bajaj Finance for violation of various directions, including on the company's recovery and collection methods.

Steel Authority of India closed 2.3% lower, after four contract workers at the state-owned company's Rourkela steel plant in eastern India died after a suspected gas leakage incident.

Separately, a private survey on Wednesday showed growth in India's dominant services industry continued to lose momentum in December.

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