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Indian shares edge lower on tech losses; auto stocks in focus

BENGALURU, July 1 (Reuters) - Indian shares inched lower on Thursday as heavyweight information technology stocks weighed, with investors focused on automakers as they release sales numbers for June.

By 0453 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.04% to 15,715.65 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.09% to 52,436.88.

Both indexes gained about 1% in June, helped by declining COVID-19 cases, easing of pandemic-induced restrictions and a surge in vaccinations.

“It is still a buy-on-dips kind of market, and I don’t see any bearish sentiments yet. All the positives (extensive vaccinations, declining COVID-19 cases and strong March-quarter earnings) are already factored in. So, there is no trigger for a sharp rally,” said Gaurav Garg, head of research at CapitalVia Global Research in Mumbai.

The Nifty IT index fell 0.56% after rising on Wednesday.

The Nifty Auto index was among the top gainers among sub-indexes, rising 0.71%.

Bajaj Auto added 2% after posting higher sales for June, compared with a year ago. Mahindra and Mahindra climbed 1% ahead of its sales data. Both stocks were the top two percentage gainers on the Nifty 50.

Drugmaker Zydus Cadila said it applied to India’s drug regulator for emergency use approval of its COVID-19 vaccine, which showed a 66.6% efficacy against positive cases in an interim analysis. Cadila’s stock was down as much as 1.6%.

Telecom operator Vodafone Idea fell as much as 14.6% after the company’s March-quarter loss widened and revenue fell, compared with the previous quarter.

Broader Asian markets were subdued, weighed by worries about new coronavirus infections and fresh lockdowns. (Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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