Sensex retreats from highs on profit-booking, monsoon forecast
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares snapped four sessions of gains to end lower on Wednesday, with losses spread across most sectors, as sentiment turned negative after a private weather forecaster said it expected a 'below normal' monsoon this year.

Skymet's forecast of the monsoon season, which delivers about 70 percent of India's annual rainfall, dampened prospects of higher farm and economic growth in the $2.6 trillion economy.

"Profit-booking has started and that coupled with the monsoon forecast, has impacted the markets," said AK Prabhakar, head of research, IDBI Capital in Mumbai.

Investors are also awaiting the outcome of the central bank's policy meet ending Thursday, with most economists expecting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to slash the key lending rate.

The benchmark BSE Sensex closed down 0.46 percent at 38,877.12 while the broader NSE Nifty ended 0.59 percent lower at 11,643.95.

Both the indexes hit fresh highs during the session.

Nifty's state-run bank index, which gained 1.4 percent earlier in the session, closed down 2.7 percent.

Oil marketers Indian Oil Corp Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd closed 3-5 percent lower as Brent futures hit near five-month highs.

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