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Indian shares extend fall as volatility rises before key earnings, general elections

Thursday,   18-Apr-2024   04:16 PM (IST)

Indian shares ended at four-week lows on Thursday, reversing intraday gains, as volatility spiked ahead of key quarterly earnings and the start of the country's general elections. The Nifty fell 0.69% to 21,995.85, while the Sensex shed 0.62% to 72,488.99 at close. The benchmarks rose as much as 0.8% during the session, but gave up gains in the final two hours of trade to close at four-week lows. The indexes have dropped more than 3% in the four sessions since hitting record closing highs on April 10, marking their longest losing streak in about six months. India's Nifty volatility index rose to 13.04 on the day, highest since March 20. The country's multi-phased elections start Friday, with results to be announced on June 4. Polls project Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win a third term. The IT index fell 0.23%, extending its selling streak to a fourth session, during which it has lost 5.08%. High weightage financials dropped nearly 1%, also extending losses for the fourth day. Nestle India fell 3.28% after a report said the company added sugar to baby food sold in low-income countries but not in its main markets in Europe or the UK. Bharti Airtel jumped 4% to hit a record high amid multiple block deals at premium over its last close. Power Grid gained more than 2%. Goldman Sachs assigned a "buy" on the state-run energy transmission company's stock. IT service provider Infosys and two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto rose 0.34% and 1.15% ahead of their quarterly results, due after market close.