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Indian shares close at over one-month low as IT, consumer stocks weigh

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·1 min read
People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai
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BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended at their lowest level in over a month on Thursday, dragged down by losses in information technology and consumer companies, with investors also booking profits ahead of the upcoming federal budget.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 1.07% to 13,817.55 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed 1.13% weaker at 46,874.36. With Thursday's close, both indexes have ended lower for five straight sessions.

"From here, maybe in one or two days, the market can bottom out and there can be a recovery... a minimum of 500-600 points recovery from current level is possible" said AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital in Mumbai.

"The market has run up too much and there were some results which disappointed.. the liquidity driving the markets has also come down," Prabhakar added.

Shares of automaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd fell 3.5% after the company's margins for the December-quarter fell on rising costs, despite an uptick in demand.

Top private lender HDFC Bank ended the day 2.7% lower as the biggest drag on the Nifty.

The Nifty Bank index, which slipped as much as nearly 2% earlier in the day, reversed course to end 0.24% higher.

Shares of consumer giant Hindustan Unilever closed 3.8% lower as one of the top drags on the Nifty, while shares of cigarette maker ITC Ltd also slipped 1.9%. The Nifty FMCG index closed 1.9% lower.

The Nifty IT index shed 2.2%, dragged by a 1.9% decline in shares of Infosys, the country's second largest IT firm.

(Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)