March 26, 2018 / 6:24 AM / in 7 months

Indian shares slip; oil refiners, IT stocks drag

* NSE index down 0.17 pct, BSE index 0.01 pct lower

* Oil refiners fall, HPCL down 4.6 pct

* Fears of U.S.-China trade war weigh on sentiment

By Jessica Kuruthukulangara

March 26 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged marginally lower on Monday, dragged by oil refiners such as Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and IT stocks such as Infosys Ltd, as concerns of a looming trade war between the United States and China continued to hurt global sentiment.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Friday that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China, although the measures have a 30-day consultation period before they take effect.

Mounting trade tensions battered Asian shares, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipping 0.4 percent.

“The main concern is that the (Indian) markets are not bouncing back from current levels and we are not seeing sustained buying,” said Manav Chopra, head of research at Indiabulls Ventures.

“As long as the NSE index trades below 10,060 levels, markets will experience some selling pressure.”

The broader NSE index was down 0.17 percent at 9,980.80 as of 0555 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.01 percent lower at 32,594.85.

Shares of Indian oil refiners fell as Brent crude futures rose to $71.05 per barrel, their highest since Jan. 25, although the global crude benchmark subsequently pared the gains.

Shares of HPCL declined 4.6 percent, while Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Indian Oil Corp Ltd slipped more than 2 percent.

IT stocks also fell, with Wipro Ltd sliding 4 percent to its lowest since July 20, while Infosys Ltd was down over 1 percent. Nifty IT index was trading 0.98 percent lower after gaining in four out of the last five months.

Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd rose as much as 3.8 percent after the company said its units would divest 50 percent stake in Indiabulls Properties and Indiabulls Real Estate Co Pvt to Blackstone Group LP.

MMTC Ltd climbed 10 percent while State Trading Corp of India Ltd rose 5 percent after commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu said that a merger of the state-run commodity trading firms was on the cards, according to a Mint daily report that cited PTI. (Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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