* NSE index down 0.26 pct, BSE index 0.24 pct lower
* Indraprastha Gas hits record high
* Manappuram Finance hits 3-1/2 month high
By Arnab Paul
Feb 9 Indian shares edged lower on Thursday,
dragged down by lenders a day after the central bank kept its
policy rates on hold and said it would shift its stance from
"accommodative" to "neutral," signalling an end to any further
Analysts had expected the Reserve Bank of India to cut the
repo rate by another 25 basis points, either on
Wednesday or at its next review in April, after bringing it down
by 175 bps during January 2015 to October last year.
Indian stocks hit four-month highs earlier this week in
anticipation of that easing, but analysts said there were still
positives from the RBI meeting, including expectations banks
would have scope to lower their lending rates if the system
remains flush with liquidity.
"The market had already discounted RBI's rate cut decision
before it happened," said Mugilan K, deputy manager of research
at Cholamandalam Securities.
"With earlier RBI rate cuts not yet fully implemented by
banks, the current decision wouldn't have mattered as much."
The broader NSE index was down 0.26 percent at
8,746.10 as of 0627 GMT, while the benchmark 30-stock BSE index
was 0.24 percent lower at 28,221.71, on track for its
third straight session of losses.
Banking stocks were the biggest laggards on the NSE index
with ICICI Bank Ltd and State Bank of India Ltd
falling as much as 2.2 percent and 1.3 percent,
Among gainers, Indraprastha Gas Ltd rose to a
record high after posting a 37 percent increase in its
December-quarter net profit.
Manappuram Finance Ltd surged 12.8 percent to a
three-and-a-half-month high after posting a 100 percent increase
in its December-quarter profit.
(Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)