Sensex, Nifty end lower; BPCL top loser

File photo of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Bengaluru, India Nov 21, 2019, 04.26 PM (IST)

Indian shares ended lower on Thursday, dragged down by public sector stocks, as investors booked profits after the Nifty 50 index hit a multi-month high in the previous session.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.3 per cent lower at 11,968.40, while the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.2 per cent at 40,578.34.

In the previous session, the Nifty 50 index had hit its highest since June 6 and analysts said the market was consolidating as it tries to surpass previous highs.

The Nifty public sector bank index, energy index and metal index were top losers, falling 1.5 per cent to 2.2 per cent.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises ended up 12.4 per cent and was the top gainer on the Nifty index, while Bharat Petroleum Corp ended down 5.60 per cent and was the top loser.

The government agreed to sell stakes in five state-run companies, including oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL), the finance minister said on Wednesday, a move that could help bridge a widening fiscal gap.

Meanwhile, Japan's Sony Corp is in talks to buy a stake in India's Network18 Media & Investments Ltd, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, sending shares in billionaire Mukesh Ambani's TV business as much as 18 per cent higher.

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Zee Entertainment Enterprises ended up 12.4 per cent and was the top gainer on the Nifty index.