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Sensex reverses course to end lower as financials drag

A man walks out of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares erased early gains to settle lower on Thursday due to volatility around the expiry of April derivative contracts, with financial stocks accounting for a majority of the losses.

The broader Nifty closed 0.72 percent lower at 11,641.8, while the benchmark Sensex ended down 0.83 percent at 38,730.86.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries Ltd retreated from record highs hit earlier in the session to close 1.2 percent lower, while Bharti Infratel Ltd extended losses to end 10.2 percent lower a day after the telecom tower operator missed expectations for quarterly profit.

Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd fell 1.3 percent, while private-sector lender ICICI Bank Ltd slipped 1.4 percent.

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd ended 1.6 percent lower after the company forecast a weak rate of growth for the current fiscal year amid an industry-wide weakening of demand.

Meanwhile, cement stocks joined a rally led by UltraTech Cement Ltd after the country's largest cement maker posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit.


(Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)