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Asia300

India shares fall on US policy woes, Reliance Industries leads

MUMBAI (NewsRise)--Indian shares fell the first time in three sessions Monday, as risk sentiment wavered after the failure of U.S. President Donald Trump's healthcare bill raised concern about the prospects of his economic agenda.

The benchmark BSE Sensex index fell 0.6%, or 184.25 points, to 29,237.15, while the broader NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.7% lower, or 62.80 points, at 9,045.20. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries contributed more than a third of the losses on the Sensex, with shares falling 2.8% after the capital markets regulator late Friday banned the company from dealing in equity derivatives in the futures and options segment for one year, alleging fraudulent trades in Reliance Petroleum in 2007. Reliance denied the allegations and said it plans to appeal to the Securities Appellate Tribunal.

Late Friday, after failing to garner enough support for his healthcare bill which sought to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Trump scrapped the vote on the legislation, fuelling speculation that the rest of his economic policies may face a similar fate. U.S. stocks, which rallied to record highs repeatedly in recent weeks after Trump promised massive tax reforms, fell last week.

"Global headwinds on account of Trump's failure on U.S healthcare bill have kept market across the world under selling mode," said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services. "Sentiment waned due to worries about the future roll out of tax cuts and fiscal spending plan in the U.S."

The Nikkei Asia300 Index, which tracks 316 of the most influential companies in the region, fell 0.5%.

Nair added that premium stock valuations and rising speculative trades at home will test investors' patience ahead of monthly derivatives expiry later this week.

Twenty five of the 30 Sensex constituents ended lower, while overall declining issues beat advancing ones 1,630 to 1,158 and 231 stocks were unchanged.

Among other key movers Monday, HDFC Bank - India's biggest lender by market value declined 0.9% to 1,411.45 rupees, while Tata Steel finished 3.2% lower.

Coal India declined 2.1% to 291.90 rupees. Watchdog Competition Commission of India late Friday imposed 5.91 billion-rupee penalty on the miner for using unfair and discriminatory conditions in fuel supply pacts with power producers.

State Bank of India rose 1.2% to 279.35 rupees. The lender late Friday said it plans to sell a 10% stake in unit SBI Life Insurance through an initial public offering.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories advanced 0.6% to 2,638.65 rupees after announcing an agreement with U.S.-based medical device maker Integra LifeSciences Holdings to market and distribute two products in India.

--Dhanya Ann Thoppil

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