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Indian shares slide as U.S. inflation data sparks rate hike fears

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BENGALURU — Indian shares fell on Wednesday, as technology stocks declined sharply, tracking weak Asian peers after an unexpected increase in U.S. inflation stoked fears of aggressive rate hikes.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.89% at 17,909.65, as of 0446 GMT while the S&P BSE Sensex slid 0.92% to 60,012.58.

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In early trades on Wednesday, the Nifty and the Sensex had dropped 1.65% and 1.91%, respectively, posting their biggest intraday fall in over two weeks.

The Nifty IT index was the hardest hit in Mumbai, sliding 3.7%, with heavyweight IT services majors Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services dropping around 4.5% and 3.6%, respectively.

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Wall Street had plunged overnight by its most since June 2020 and Asian shares skidded after U.S. consumer price data unexpectedly rose in August, cementing expectations that the Fed will deliver a third 75-basis-point rate hike next week.

“The composition of the U.S. CPI data suggests that inflation is deep-rooted and markets are even pricing in a 100 bps hike to some extent,” said Narendra Solanki, fundamental research head at domestic brokerage Anand Rathi.

A day earlier, the probability of a 100 bps hike was zero.

“Our markets had run up quite a bit in the hope that inflation had peaked, so we may see some cool down till the Fed event is done with.”

The Nifty is up 1.8% this month, up to last close, compared to a 1.7% fall in MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan. The domestic market has been buoyed by foreign investor buying and weak oil prices.

The Nifty Auto index and the Nifty FMCG recovered from early losses to trade a touch higher on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, cement major Ambuja Cements climbed 3.4% to a record high on plans to raise funds. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Neha Arora)



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