Shares fall as oil prices climb; banks, consumer cos weigh

Indian shares fell on Tuesday, dragged by heavyweight banking and consumer stocks, with a continued rise in crude oil futures denting sentiment further.

By 0410 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.34% at 17,061.15, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.38% to 57,076.89.

Both the indexes gained about 4% last week, helped by falling oil prices, signs of progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks, and further easing of local COVID-19 restrictions amid an expanded vaccination drive.

But a lack of material progress in the peace talks amid continued fighting, and a possible energy embargo against Russia by the European Union have sent oil prices soaring again.

“For India, crude jumping to $118 from the recent $100 levels is again posing a major worry. This kind of short-term volatility in crude is highly unnerving,” said V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

State-controlled fuel retailers in India, which is the world’s third-biggest consumer and importer of oil, will raise petrol and diesel pump prices for the first time since November, two dealers told Reuters late on Monday.

Bharat Petroleum Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Indian Oil Corp gained 1.6%-3%.

The governor of India’s central bank said on Monday inflation was expected to moderate going forward despite “unimaginably uncertain” global crude oil prices, adding that there are no risks of stagflation in the country.

The Nifty FMCG Index fell 1.68%. Consumer giant Hindustan Unilever lost 3.4% and was the top percentage loser on the Nifty 50.

The Nifty Bank Index fell 1.2% and was on track for its second straight session of losses.

Shares of Future Group companies dropped between 10.5% and 13.9%. Indian lenders are set to initiate debt recovery proceedings against Future Retail this week.

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