April 11, 2018 / 6:44 AM / 12 days ago

Indian shares slip after 4 sessions of gains; financials top losers

* NSE index down 0.18 pct, BSE index 0.07 pct lower

* Both indexes hit highest since March 13 in early trade

* OMCs slump after reports on price hike absorption

By Vishal Sridhar

April 11 (Reuters) - Indian shares came off one-month highs to trade slightly lower on Wednesday after four straight sessions of gains, dragged by financials and oil marketing companies (OMCs).

Sentiment was also subdued on concerns that inflation worries could resurface on the back of rising crude oil prices. Brent crude futures surged more than 3 percent on Tuesday to their highest since late 2014, at $71.34 a barrel.

“Rising oil prices will bring back inflation worries and currency fluctuations are something to be looked into following the easing up of trade tensions, especially with China being the largest reserve for dollars,” said R.K. Gupta, managing director of Taurus Asset Management.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump both struck conciliatory tones on Tuesday, which analysts hoped could open the door for negotiations to avert a trade war.

“We will see stock-specific movements as earnings come in,” said Gupta. Software services exporter Infosys Ltd will kick-start the January-March corporate results season on Friday.

Investors await March retail inflation data due on Thursday for cues about the economy. Retail inflation likely eased to a five-month low in March as increases in food prices slowed once again but remained above the central bank’s medium-term target, a Reuters poll found.

The broader NSE index was down 0.18 percent at 10,383.05 as of 0545 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.07 percent lower at 33,856.84.

The NSE index may retest support near the 9,950 level, according to technical analysis.

Financials were the top losers with the Nifty PSU Bank index down 2 percent after gaining more than 7 percent in the last four sessions.

ICICI Bank Ltd dropped as much as 2.2 percent and State Bank of India declined 2.5 percent, heading for their first session of fall in five.

OMCs slumped following reports that the government is asking these firms to absorb price hikes. Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd plunged over 7 percent, while both Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Indian Oil Corp Ltd dropped over 5 percent.

Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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