Indian shares end lower, rupee weakens as Fed signals rate hikes sooner

BENGALURU, June 17 (Reuters) - Indian shares slipped and the rupee weakened on Thursday, as the Federal Reserve’s signal to raise interest rates sooner than expected spooked investors.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was 0.48% down at 15,691.40 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was 0.34% lower at 52,323.33 at close.

The rupee dropped 1% to 74.08 against the dollar, its weakest level since early May, while India’s benchmark 10-year bond yield ended slightly lower at 6.04% after rising up to 6.06% earlier in the session.

Financials stocks were top drags on the Nifty 50, with HDFC Bank Ltd, HDFC Ltd and ICICI Bank Ltd shedding more than 1% each.

The Nifty Bank Index and the Nifty Private Bank Index, which have fallen over 1.25% so far this week, lost 1.14% and 1.18%, respectively.

Globally, stocks were heading for their biggest fall in weeks. The Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday moved their first projected rate increases from 2024 to 2023 and opened talks about when to pull back on the $120 billion in monthly bond purchase.

Among other notable stock moves in India, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd fell 8.5% in the eighth consecutive session of losses and was among the top drag on the Nifty 50, even after the company earlier this week rejected a media report that said accounts of three foreign investor funds that own Adani Group stocks had been frozen.

Countering some of these losses were software services firms Infosys Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd , rising 0.9% and 1.3%, respectively.

The Nifty IT index was up 0.57%. It has gained 1.40% so far this week. (Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)