Indian shares fell notably on Monday as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of key retail inflation data due this week.
The reading comes just days after the Reserve Bank of India signaled no rush to cut interest rates.
Investors also looked ahead to the release of U.S. CPI data and speeches by Federal Reserve officials due this week for fresh clues on when the Federal Reserve is likely to begin cutting interest rates.
U.S. consumer price inflation is expected to have eased slightly in January but is likely to hold above the Fed’s annual 2 percent target.
Fed Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said on Friday he remains “laser focused” on returning inflation to target.
His Dallas counterpart Lorie Logan said the U.S. central bank should take time to assess incoming data before cutting rates.
Remarks are due from three officials at the central bank later in the day.
On the positive side, Middle East concerns eased somewhat after the Israeli military said it had conducted a “series of strikes” on southern Gaza that have now “concluded,” without giving further details.
Separately, Iran’s foreign minister flagged the Israel-Hamas conflict could be moving closer to a diplomatic solution.
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex ended the session down 523 points, or 0.73 percent, at 71,072.49 while the broader NSE Nifty index settled 166.45 points, or 0.76 percent, lower at 21,616.05.
Tata Steel, ONGC, BPCL, Hero Moto Corp and Coal India fell 3-5 percent in the Nifty pack while HCL Technologies, Wipro, Divis Laboratories, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories rallied 2-3 percent.
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