Sensex, Nifty end lower on U.S. trade deal uncertainty

A broker trades on his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares closed lower on Thursday, as investors booked profit on uncertainty related to a trade deal with the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States and India were working on a major trade deal but he was not sure if it would be completed before the U.S. presidential election in November.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index as well as the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.37% to 12,080.85 and 41,170.12, respectively. Both the indexes had risen over 1% on Wednesday.

For the week, Nifty 50 index shed 0.27%, while the Sensex lost 0.21%.

"After the recent rally, traders are paring their positions ahead of the long weekend," said A.K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital.

The domestic markets will remain closed for Shivratri holiday on Friday.

"Investors are waiting for clarity on the status of China's industries (over coronavirus) and expecting some measures from the Indian government," Prabhakar added.

Scores of new coronavirus cases and a first death in South Korea fanned fears on Thursday of the global spread of the pathogen as research suggested it was more contagious than thought.

Cipla Ltd, which ended down 2.6%, lost the most in the Nifty 50 index, while IndusInd Bank was the top gainer at 3.5%.


(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)