Indian shares set to snap six sessions of gains as banks decline

BENGALURU, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Indian shares slipped in early trade on Monday and were set to snap six sessions of gains as banking stocks declined, although losses were capped by a rise in Reliance Industries Ltd.

The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.49% to 13,692.40 by 0348 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.43% at 46,766.44.

Both the indexes have posted seven straight weekly gains, driven by progress on COVID-19 vaccines and signs of global economic recovery.

Dragging the market on Monday, the Nifty PSU Bank index fell as much as 2.07%, with Canara Bank Ltd falling 3%.

However, shares of India’s most valuable company, Reliance Industries Ltd, rose as much as 1.27% after it announced on Friday with BP Plc the start of production from the R Cluster - an ultra-deepwater gas field in the KG D6 block off the east coast of India.

Broader Asian shares inched lower as fresh lockdowns in the UK to curb the spread of a new coronavirus strain and lack of a Brexit deal dampened investor sentiment. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)