Indian shares edge lower; bank stocks drag

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 19, 2016 12:20 hrs

* NSE index falls 0.15 pct; BSE index down 0.21 pct

* Stock-specific moves likely ahead - analyst

* ICICI Bank biggest loser on bank index

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged lower on Wednesday, after posting their best day in nearly five months in the previous session, with investors booking profits in bank stocks that shed the most.

The Nifty Bank index fell as much as 0.44 percent, after rising 2.85 percent in the last three sessions. ICICI Bank Ltd fell as much as 1.8 percent, while State Bank of India declined as much as 0.7 percent.

"We are in the middle of the earnings season and there is likely to be more stock-specific moves rather than broad-based movement," said Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd.

This week, companies such as Biocon Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd, ACC Ltd, Wipro Ltd and HCL Technologies Ltd are slated to report quarterly results.

Investors also eye the ongoing government meet on the goods and services tax (GST) for clarity on new rates. The crucial GST Council meeting, comprising federal and state finance ministers, will decide the main tax rate and those for different sectors.

"With the GST council meet underway, the market looks ahead for fresh cues," James said.

The broader NSE index was down 0.2 percent at 8,660.25 as of 0610 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index fell 0.24 percent at 27,984.17.

On Tuesday both the indexes posted their biggest intraday percentage gains since May 25.

The Nifty Auto Index fell as much as 0.82 percent, with Tata Motors Ltd, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and Hero MotoCorp Ltd declining over 1 percent each.

Shares in logistics companies continued their rally, with Gati Ltd surging as much as 6 percent, Allcargo Logistics Ltd gaining 3.3 percent and VRL Logistics Ltd rising 2.4 percent.

ABG Shipyard Ltd rose as much as 9.99 percent to its highest since May 6. The Business Standard reported that the company was in talks with a Russian shipbuilder for the sale of a controlling stake. (Reporting by Samantha Kareen Nair in Bengaluru)

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