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Indian shares pause after record run as financials slip on profit-taking

BENGALURU, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Indian shares were flat on Wednesday after a series of record highs as investors booked profits in high-flying financial stocks, defying a more upbeat sentiment in broader Asian markets.

Stock markets in India and around the world have rebounded strongly from the pandemic lows of March, thanks to COVID-19 vaccine development and measures from global central banks to cushion the economic fallout from the crisis.

Analysts have warned that while stocks remain overvalued, the market could continue to rise in the absence of any negative news.

“We’re seeing some ... tapering of inflows in the year-end. I don’t see any deep correction happening, unless there is some really bad news which will cause withdrawal of liquidity,” said Samrat Dasgupta, chief executive officer at Esquire Capital Investment Advisors in Mumbai. “While there is a lot of over-valuation, there is also a lot of liquidity support.”

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.26% at 13,897.60 by 0500 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was 0.25% down at 47,493.34. Both indexes had closed at record highs in the last two sessions.

The Nifty Bank index snapped a five-session winning streak, slipping 0.6%. Mortgage lender HDFC Ltd fell as much as 1.09% and was the top drag to the Nifty, while ICICI Bank was down 0.7%.

The Nifty PSU bank index slipped more than 1%. State Bank of India, up more than 12% this month, fell nearly 2%.

Bucking the trend, the Nifty auto and IT indexes added 0.5% each.

Other Asian shares hit record highs as hopes of a strong economic recovery next year and little sign of policymakers winding back massive stimulus efforts fuelled global risk appetite. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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