(Updates levels, adds analysts’ comments)

BENGALURU, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Indian shares fell on Friday, tracking Wall Street, after a fresh slate of U.S. economic data underscored bets that the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates higher for longer.

The Nifty 50 index was down 0.22% at 17,994.80 as of 10:40 a.m. IST, while the S&P BSE Sensex was lower by 0.25% at 61,164.

The index has risen 0.7% in this week so far, and is set to extend gains for the third week in a row.

It is likely to trade between 17,800 and 18,300 in the next two weeks, analysts said.

On Friday, 11 of the 13 major sectoral indexes declined, with heavyweight financials and information technology (IT) stocks losing 0.5% and 0.8%respectively.

The drop in domestic equities comes after a slide in Wall Street as data showed a higher-than-expected rise in producer prices in January and a fall in jobless claims, signalling the Fed could stick with its high-rate regime.

That could weigh on growth in the world’s largest economy, from where Indian IT companies get a significant share of their revenue.

HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra and Wipro, Infosys fell between 1% and 1.5% and were among the top losers on the Nifty index.

Nestle India fell nearly 3% as analysts flagged concerns of volume growth deceleration.

On the flip side, Schaeffler India rose more than 4% after reporting a higher quarterly profit.

“While global cues could act as the major trigger for domestic equities in the near-term, the Nifty 50 is likely to remain resilient due to reasonable valuations and India’s macro stability,” said Narendra Solanki, head of equity research at Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers.

Foreign investors are also expected to help cap losses, buoying the market as they have done in the past few sessions.

Over the past five sessions, FIIs have bought a net 60.88 billion rupees ($736.3 million), reversing an extended selling trend earlier in the year.

($1 = 82.6830 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Nivedita Bhattacharjee)


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