* NSE index down 0.19 pct, BSE index 0.17 pct lower
* Tata Group firms rise after Mistry's announcement
* ICICI Bank, SBI among top losers
By Arnab Paul
Dec 20 Indian shares fell slightly on Tuesday in
thin trade, heading for their fifth straight session of
declines, dragged down by financial stocks.
Global sentiment was mixed as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen gave an upbeat view of the labour market while
deadly incidents in Germany and Turkey weighed on markets.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was down 0.05 percent.
Back home, the broader NSE index was down 0.19
percent at 8,089 as of 0555 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index
was 0.17 percent lower at 26,329.19.
"Investors are cautious about a Russian retaliation and this
increase in geo-political tension could see most of them remain
on the sidelines," said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit
BNP Paribas Securities.
Analysts say the withdrawal of funds by foreign
institutional investors and lacklustre market activity at the
year-end could see the indexes trade in a small range throughout
Financial stocks were the biggest laggards with ICICI Bank
shedding as much as 1.5 percent and State Bank of
India declining up to 2 percent.
However, shares of most Tata group companies edged higher
after Cyrus Mistry, the ousted chairman of holding company Tata
Sons, announced his decision to quit from the boards
of group companies late on Monday.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Tata Power Ltd
rose as much as 1.7 percent and 2.8 percent,
"I expect Tata Group companies to react positively to the
news as most fund houses have been backing Ratan Tata from the
start of the controversy," says Mugilan K, deputy manager of
research at Cholamandalam Securities.
(Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu