Indian shares end lower in Saturday session as IT stocks, HUL weigh

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares ended lower in a trading session on Saturday, dragged by information technology companies and Hindustan Unilever, but gains in lenders helped limit some losses.

The blue-chip Nifty 50 ended down 0.23% to 21,571.80, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.4% to 71,423.65.

The equity market traded in a full session on Saturday, and will remain shut on Monday due to a public holiday in Maharashtra state and as the central government observes a half-working day on the occasion of the inauguration of the Ram Temple in the northern city of Ayodhya.

IT stocks slid 1% on the day after gaining more than 6% in the past two weeks following better-than-feared earnings in the sector.

Consumer stocks fell 1.2%, weighed down by FMCG giant Hindustan Unilever, which slid about 4% after a smaller-than-expected profit increase.

In contrast, the Nifty Bank index rose 0.8% after losing 5% over the last four sessions following disappointing results from top private lender HDFC Bank.

HDFC, an index heavyweight, rose 0.6% following a more than 12% slide post its results.

Kotak Mahindra Bank gained 2.4%, despite reporting quarterly profit below estimates.

Digital payments firm Paytm climbed 1.5% after reporting an operating profit for the fifth consecutive quarter on account of festive season-led sales.

Shares of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and IDBI Bank gained 10% and 13.6%, respectively, after reporting strong quarterly results.

The stock market was earlier set to trade in two special sessions on Saturday as the exchanges looked to test out a failsafe system for trading.

(Reporting by Sethuraman NR in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)