Sunday, January 29

Indian shares fall as oil prices stoke inflation fears

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BENGALURU — Indian shares opened lower on Tuesday, as Russia-Ukraine peace talks made scant progress and oil prices at 14-year highs kept investors on edge over imported inflation.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.41% at 15,798.40, as of 0351 GMT, and the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.39% to 52,636.17. If hold, both the indexes would mark losses their fifth straight session of declines.

After the third attempt by Russia and Ukraine to ease the bloodshed at talks in Belarus, a Ukrainian negotiator said although small progress on agreeing logistics for the evacuation of civilians had been made, things remained largely unchanged.

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With oil prices already hitting their highest since 2008, Moscow warned a Western ban on Russian oil imports may more than double the price to $300 a barrel.

India is the world’s third-largest importer of crude oil, and rising prices push up the country’s trade and current account deficit while also hurting the rupee and fueling imported inflation.

The Nifty’s bank index, financial services index , private sector bank index, auto index were down over 1% each.

Broader Asian markets also fell as Ukraine peace talks made little headway. (Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)