June 7, 2019 / 4:44 AM / 4 months ago

Indian shares inch lower, pharma stocks weigh

* NSE index lower 0.46%, BSE index 0.47% lower

* NSE, BSE set to end week lower after three weeks

* Pharma stocks lower

By Chandini Monnappa

June 7 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged lower on Friday, amid weakness in pharma shares, a day after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points.

The benchmark BSE index was down 0.44% at 39,362.51 while the broader NSE index was 0.43% lower at 11,792.20 at 0412 GMT

Both NSE and BSE were poised to end the week lower after three consecutive weeks of gains.

India’s central bank on Thursday changed its policy stance to “accommodative,” from “neutral” after latest data showed that the economy grew at its slowest in over four years.

“The expectation was how the RBI will tackle NBFC space; they have not spelled out any preventive measures. So, we are seeing a sell-off,” said Deven Choksey, founder, KR Choksey Investment Managers. “Markets will remain rangebound until the budget and we may see a correction around then.”

The government is expected to launch a fresh wave of economic reforms to unlock growth in the budget due next month. The steps are anticipated after the unemployment rate rose to a multi-year-high of 6.1% in the 2017/18 fiscal year.

The Nifty Pharma index inched over 2% lower and was headed for its third straight session of decline.

The Nifty public sector bank index retreated from losses seen in the previous session, but was down 0.13%, while the private bank index index edged 0.6% lower.

Shares of Dewan Housing Finance Ltd, one of India’s biggest shadow banks fell as much as 6.8% to 87.55 rupees, their lowest in over five years, following a slew of credit rating downgrades earlier this week.

Wipro Ltd was trading 0.67% higher at 293.5 rupees. Late on Thursday, the IT services firm said founder Azim Premji would retire as executive chairman and managing director (MD) and named Chief Executive Officer Abidali Z Neemuchwala as its new MD. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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