Indian shares open lower as financials weigh; Fed signals earlier rate hikes

BENGALURU, June 17 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell on Thursday for a second straight session, hurt by heavyweight financials stocks and conglomerate Reliance Industries, with sentiment dented by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s projection of hiking interest rates sooner than expected.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.56% to 15,681.10 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slid 0.49% to 52,231.54 by 0348 GMT.

HDFC Bank Ltd, HDFC Ltd and Reliance Industries Ltd were among the top drags on the Nifty 50, shedding between 0.6% and 1%. Shares of Reliance have gained in the last five trading sessions out of eight.

The Nifty Bank Index and the Nifty Private Bank Index, which have so far fallen more than 0.90% this week, lost 0.86% and 0.85%, respectively.

Meanwhile, broader Asian stocks tracked overnight losses on Wall Street after U.S. central bank officials moved their first projected rate increases from 2024 into 2023 and opened talks about when to pull back on the Fed’s $120 billion in monthly bond purchase.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V