BENGALURU, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended in the red
for a fifth straight session on Monday, with metals and IT
stocks dragging the most, as investor worries ballooned over
possibilities of a quicker rate hike from the U.S. Federal
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index dropped 2.66% to
17,149.1, while the S&P BSE Sensex slid 2.62% to
57,491.51, both marking their worst day since Nov. 26.
The indexes fell as much as 3.5% earlier in the session,
before settling at their lowest levels since late December. They
shed more than 3% last week amid heavy foreign investor selling.
"With Indian markets closed on Wednesday, investors are
likely positioning themselves for a hawkish Fed," said Amish
Shah, head of research, BofA Securities India.
"Higher interest rates would mean the cost of equity
assumption for valuing stocks goes up, and it could also lead to
outflows from risky assets like emerging market equities to
safer U.S. Treasury bonds."
Foreign investors are net sellers so far this month, having
offloaded shares worth a net $1.18 billion.
The Fed at its meeting is expected to confirm it will soon
start draining the massive pool of liquidity that has
supercharged growth stocks in recent years.
Also weakening global markets on Monday was the prospect of
a Russian attack on Ukraine.
In Mumbai, the Nifty Realty and Nifty Metal
indexes sank 5.9% and 5.2%, respectively.
The Nifty IT sub-index slid 3.4% and marked its
sixth straight session of losses.
Food delivery platform Zomato tumbled 19.6%, while
online retailer Nykaa lost 13.1%, as analysts cited
expensive valuations for the two firms that saw stellar market
debuts last year.
Shares of oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries
dropped 4%, despite the company reporting a
better-than-expected jump in third-quarter profit on Friday.
Shares of JSW Steel fell 6.7% after the company's
quarterly net profit missed analysts' estimates.
(Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; additional reporting
by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)