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Indian shares suffer worst week since late Nov, Reliance results in focus

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By Chris Thomas

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares on Friday logged their biggest weekly drop since late November as losses in technology and financial stocks outweighed the boost from consumer goods giant Hindustan Unilever's positive earnings.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.79% to 17,617.15 and the S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.72% to 59,037.18. The indexes had earlier declined as much as 1.5% to their lowest since early-January.

They posted a weekly loss of about 3.5% each, having fallen for four straight sessions on heavy selling from foreign investors.

Asian and European peers, as well as U.S. stock futures, were weaker as concerns over inflation and the Federal Reserve's policy tightening weighed on sentiment. [MKTS/GLOB]

However, Saurabh Mukherjea, founder of Marcellus Investment Managers, said the drop was not unusual amid economic recovery and that he was not too concerned about the correction.

"We are getting strong economic recovery globally, and naturally that is fuelling inflation, also because COVID-19 has created supply side disruptions. That will invariably lead to rate hikes, which signals that the first one-third of an economic recovery is behind us."

The Nifty IT index lost 1.7% on Friday, its fifth straight session of losses, to post a weekly decline of 7.1%. The drop this week was its biggest since March 2020.

Bajaj Finserv, a holding company for financial services businesses, slid 5.4% and was the biggest decliner on the Nifty 50. It had ended lower on Thursday after posting a decline in quarterly profit.

Shares of Hindustan Unilever rose 2.8% after the consumer goods giant logged a rise in quarterly profit and its margins beat analyst estimates.

Automakers Maruti Suzuki India and Bajaj Auto gained 1.9% and 3.4%, respectively.

Reliance Industries closed flat ahead of its quarterly results.

(Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; editing by Aditya Soni)

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