* NSE index falls 0.25 pct, BSE index down 0.27 pct
* Foreign investors sell $114.55 mln worth shares in Dec
* Financial stocks down
By Arnab Paul
Dec 19 Indian shares hit near 2-week lows in
thin trade on Monday, on track for a fourth straight session of
losses, as investors stayed on the sidelines in the absence of
strong global cues.
Asian shares steadied near four-week lows after China agreed
to return the U.S. drone it had seized.
But with expectations of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's
policies lifting U.S. interest rates and the dollar, shares in
many emerging markets are likely to remain vulnerable to
possible capital outflows.
"I expect the markets to remain rangebound till the end of
January, before the budget is announced," said R.K. Gupta,
managing director of Taurus Asset Management.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is expected to present the
annual budget for 2017/18 on Feb. 1.
"Because of lacklusture trade during the holiday season,
foreign buyers are expected to withdraw funds from the market
throughout this month," Gupta said.
Foreign investors net sold shares worth $114.55 million this
month up to Dec. 15. They have net bought $4.04 billion this
year up to the same period.
The broader NSE index was down 0.25 percent at
8,118.75 as of 0645 GMT, while the benchmark 30-stock BSE index
was down 0.27 percent at 26,419.44.
Financial stocks fell, dragged down by HDFC Bank
which fell as much as 1 percent, and Axis Bank that
lost as much 1.1 percent.
Oil refiners such as Indian Oil Corp and Bharat
Petroleum Corp were however up after petrol prices
were increased by 2.21 rupees per litre on Friday.
(Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju