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Indian shares retreat from record highs; Reliance top drag on Nifty

BENGALURU, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Indian shares retreated from record highs on Tuesday, dragged down by market heavyweight Reliance Industries, and tracking broader Asia amid concerns about Senate runoffs in the U.S. state of Georgia.

By 0441 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.46% to 14,068.05, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex shed 0.41% to 47,979.07.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.34% on uncertainty about Senate runoffs in Georgia, the results of which could have a big impact on U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s policies.

Global cues are dictating market trends, said Ajit Mishra, vice president, research at Religare Broking.

“We are seeing buying interest in every dip... Today, we may see some consolidation in the market, which is healthy, especially before the beginning of the third-quarter earnings season.”

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.

On Sunday, the country’s drug regulator 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, Reliance Industries fell about 1% and was the top drag on the Nifty 50. The company on Monday said it had asked government authorities to help stop attacks against its telecommunication masts by protesting farmers.

The Nifty Bank Index fell 0.37%. ICICI Bank declined 1.3% and was among the top drags on the Nifty 50.

Housing Development Finance Corp provided some support to the Nifty 50, rising 1.9% after the country's biggest mortgage lender said bit.ly/2XaMX2J its individual loan disbursement grew 26% in the third quarter.

The Nifty IT index was up 0.31%, with Tata Consultancy Services gaining 0.7%. The company is set to kick off the third-quarter earnings season on Friday. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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