August 1, 2019 / 4:56 AM / in 18 days

Sensex, Nifty end at five-month low on U.S. Fed's comments

Brokers react while trading during the presentation of the federal budget at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended at a five-month low on Thursday, dragged by public sector banks and metal stocks, as comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on future rate cuts dampened investor sentiment across global markets.

Powell said the first U.S. rate cut in over a decade was “not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts”.

The broader NSE Nifty closed down 1.24% at 10,980, while the benchmark BSE Sensex ended 1.23% lower at 37,018.32. Both indexes reported their worst percentage fall since early July.

The Nifty volatility index was up 7.12% at the closing bell.

Among sectors, the Nifty metals index was down 3.13% at close after copper prices fell to a 3-week low following Powell’s comments.

The Nifty public-sector banks index closed 2.66% lower, as sector heavyweight State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, ended down 4.5%.

Tower operator Bharti Infratel led the gainers among the blue chip stocks, closing up 2.1%.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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