Indian shares end lower as Reliance drags, investors book profits

BENGALURU, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended a volatile session lower on Monday, as investors booked profits ahead of a market holiday and shares of Reliance Industries weighed on the main indexes after the conglomerate reported a decline in quarterly revenue at its oil-to-chemicals division.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.93% to 14,238.9 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed 1.09% weaker at 48,347.59.

“When you have such a bull market there are days when you see such profit booking... people want to lighten their position before tomorrow’s holiday and the budget,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president of research at SMC Global Securities in New Delhi.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries was the top drag on the indexes, ending the day 5.3% lower after reporting a near 30% decline in revenue at its oil-to-chemical business for the December quarter.

Shares of pharmaceutical companies were up after the government on Friday gave its nod to make 3 antibiotic products under a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme.

The Nifty Pharma index ended the day 1.7% higher, led by gains in Aurobindo Pharma and Cipla, whose shares closed 8.1% and 3.5% higher.

Grasim Industries ended the day 6.6% higher as the top percentage gainer on the Nifty after announcing on Friday that it would enter the paints business. (Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)