* Stocks fall nearly 1 pct
* NSE below 8,000; set for longest losing streak in 1-1/2
* Axis Bank, Infosys among top losers
By Arnab Paul
Dec 22 Indian shares fell on Thursday, pulling
the NSE index down nearly 1 percent to below 8,000 points, as
the country's cash crunch continued to weigh on corporate
earnings expectations for the December quarter.
The NSE index, which fell below the 8,000 mark for
the first time since Nov. 25, was on track for a seventh
straight session of declines, its longest losing streak in 1-1/2
The index last recorded a seven-day losing streak in June
2015, when the India Meteorological Department cut its forecast
for monsoon rainfall for the year.
Indian shares, like their regional counterparts, have taken
a hit due to the Federal Reserve's hawkish U.S. interest rate
forecast last week that led to foreign selling in emerging
In India, foreign institutional investors have sold a net
$250.28 million in shares this month as of Dec. 20.
Analysts said investors were booking profits due to a lack
of a clear domestic triggers and persisting worries about the
impact from a ban on higher value banknotes on the economy and
"There is no clarity in the expectations of earnings routes
for investors," said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice-president of
research at SMC Global Securities.
"Due to demonetization, earnings for the December quarter is
expected to be tepid, and there are also expectations that the
impact could be carried into the next fiscal year."
NSE was down 0.92 percent at 7,987.35 as of 0602 GMT, while
the benchmark BSE index was trading 0.87 percent lower
at 26,016.38. BSE hit its lowest since Nov. 25.
Blue chips continued to suffer, with financial stocks
contributing nearly half the NSE's decline on Thursday. Axis
Bank fell as much as 1.8 percent.
Among other major decliners, IT stocks such as Infosys Ltd
and Tata Consultancy Services were down more
than 1 percent in thin trade.
(Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha