Indian shares end lower on profit-taking after benchmark Sensex scales 50,000

Reliance Industries shares rose 2.5% after Indian stock exchanges gave the go-ahead for a $3.4 billion deal with Future Group

  
A man walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, March 6, 2020.

A man walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, March 6, 2020.

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU - Indian shares ended lower on Thursday as some investors locked in profits after major indexes hit record highs, with the benchmark Sensex surpassing the 50,000 level for the first time.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.37% to 14,590.35, while the S&P BSE Sensex closed down 0.34% at 49,624.76 after touching a record high of 50,184.01 earlier in the session.

Many analysts had flagged the risk of correction owing to stretched valuations of some stocks and the Nifty and Sensex scaling new peaks over the past few weeks.

"It is an expiry day (for weekly derivatives) and we are seeing some profit-booking at these levels ... Sensex has hit the 50,000 level. People are just cautious right now," said Rahul Sharma, market strategist and head of research at Equity99 markets.

Traders and analysts have been betting on economic recovery and improved earnings from companies after India emerged from a months-long lockdown. Foreign investors pumped in more than $20 billion last year and had bought $2.76 billion worth of Indian equities as of Jan. 20.

Global equity benchmarks hit record highs on Thursday, as investors bet major stimulus from new U.S. President Joe Biden. 

Reliance Industries shares rose 2.5% after Indian stock exchanges gave the go-ahead for a $3.4 billion deal with Future Group.

Shares in Future Group companies jumped 5% on Thursday after the stock exchanges' nod. 

Tata Motors shares rose 5.7%, gaining for a third straight day. The carmaker's stock, which has risen 60% so far in 2021, is the best performing one on the blue-chip Nifty 50.

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman and Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bengaluru; Additonal reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.) ((Sethuraman.NR@thomsonreuters.com; (+91 8061822737); Reuters Messaging: nallur.sethuraman.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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