January 8, 2020 / 2:58 AM / a month ago

Nifty, Sensex fall as oil rises after U.S.-Iran tensions escalate

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, February 26, 2016.REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

(Reuters) - Indian shares closed lower on Wednesday as investors stayed away from risky assets, weighed down by elevated oil prices after Iran attacked U.S.-led forces in Iraq and sparked fears of supply disruptions.

The indexes, however, cut some losses after falling as much as 1% each earlier in the session. The Nifty 50 .NSEI ended 0.23% lower at 12,025.35, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN closed down 0.13 % at 40,817.74.

Iran launched missiles at U.S.-led forces in Iraq early on Wednesday, retaliating for the U.S. drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing last week stoked fears of a new Middle East war.

Bharti Airtel Ltd (BRTI.NS) led the gains on the blue chip Nifty 50 index, closing 3.1% higher, while Eicher Motors Ltd (EICH.NS) was the biggest loser, ending 4.38% lower. Coal India Ltd (COAL.NS) shares, the second biggest loser on Nifty, also hit a record low after the government eased mining laws in a bid to attract foreign players to the domestic coal sector and reduce imports of the fuel.

Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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