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Indian shares retreat from record highs; financial stocks, Reliance fall

BENGALURU, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell on Tuesday after notching record highs in the first two sessions of the new year, with financial stocks and market heavyweight Reliance weighing on the main indexes.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index declined 0.36% to 14,081.35 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex shed 0.32% to 48,021.48 by 0347 GMT.

Sentiment also took a hit as broader Asian markets were weighed down by uncertainty about Senate runoffs in Georgia, the results of which could have a big impact on incoming U.S. President Joe Biden’s policies.

Indian shares hit record highs on Friday and Monday to kick off the new year, helped by continued foreign fund inflows and progress on COVID-19 vaccines. The country’s drug regulator on Sunday gave emergency use approval to two coronavirus vaccines – one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other by local company Bharat Biotech.

In Mumbai trading, the Nifty Bank Index fell 0.77%. Lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank lost 1.5% and 0.4%, respectively, and were among the top drags to the Nifty 50.

Conglomerate Reliance Industries fell 0.8%, and was the top drag to the Nifty 50. The company on Monday said it had asked government authorities to help stop attacks against its telecommunication masts by protesting farmers. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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