Indian stocks fall amid Fed and Ukraine concerns; Axis Bank climbs

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A man walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India October 4, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

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BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian stocks were set for a sixth session lower on Tuesday amid interest rate concerns and geopolitical tensions, although a surge in private lender Axis Bank after better-than-expected results helped pare some early losses.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 (.NSEI) index was down 0.39% to 17,081.65-0440 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) was down 0.48% to 57,212.83 after rising had fallen to 1.9% at the start of the session.

Indices erased gains so far this year, and the daily low was just over 2% off December’s low.

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Tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine and a Federal Reserve meeting that could signal tighter monetary policy kept investors on their toes, sending Asian peers and US futures down after a chaotic Wall Street session overnight.

“We appear to be following Wall Street’s overnight trend and staging a significant rebound as investors start looking for bargains, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Ajay Bodke, an independent market analyst, adding that the chaos on Wall Street indicated “deep investor concerns” over interest rates and geopolitical tensions.

“A galloping rise in crude oil prices could also act as a serious headwind for India’s skyrocketing current account deficit.”

Oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), India’s most valuable company, slipped 3% to a monthly low. The stock is down nearly 7% despite reporting strong results last week.

The Nifty IT Index (.NIFTYIT), the biggest victim of the recent sell-off, pared some losses after falling as much as 2.5% to its lowest level since late November, and was last down 0.3% .

Meanwhile, Axis Bank (AXBK.NS) rose as much as 4.8% after the private lender beat estimates for quarterly profit.

SBI Cards and Payment Services (SBIC.NS) rose nearly 5% after quarterly profit nearly doubled.

Refined components Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS) and Cipla (CIPL.NS) are set to report results on Tuesday.

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Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Edited by Shailesh Kuber

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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