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Indian shares fall as China demand woes drag metals; inflation data eyed

Indian shares fell on Tuesday as demand worries in top consumer China hit metal stocks, while markets braced for domestic inflation data for cues on the impact of price surge on companies.

The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) was down 1.1% at 17,486.90, as of 0446 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) dropped 0.93% to 58,418.33.

Markets are expected to be choppy with the onset of the earnings season, AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital, said, adding that results are expected to be mostly good except for those dependent on commodities.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) kick-started the domestic earnings season on Monday, reporting a higher profit due to large deal signings. Its shares (TCS.NS) rose 0.5% on Tuesday. 

“The order book jump in TCS suggests next few quarters for IT (companies) will be good,” Prabhakar said.

The Nifty Metals index (.NIFTYMET) was the top drag among sectoral indexes. Aluminium producers Hindalco Industries (HALC.NS) and National Aluminium Co (NALU.NS) led the decline with losses of nearly 5% each.

Also on investors’ radar is India’s retail inflation data, which likely sped up to a 16-month high of 6.35% in March, well above the Reserve Bank of India’s upper tolerance band for a third straight month. 

Among individual shares, textile manufacturer Shiva Texyarn (SHTE.NS) surged 20% after an order win from the country’s defence ministry.

Meanwhile, Asian shares slid and the U.S. dollar held strong as Treasury yields spiked to a three-year high ahead of U.S. inflation data, which could foreshadow even more aggressive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

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