India Stocks Pare Gain, Bonds Decline As Troops Clash With China

(Bloomberg) -- Indian equities pared gains in a volatile session, while the rupee and sovereign bonds declined, after a skirmish between the nation’s soldiers and Chinese troops in a border area reignited geopolitical risks.

The S&P BSE Sensex Index rose 1.1% to close at 33,605.22 in Mumbai, trimming an intra-day advance of 2.4%, after the Indian army said three soldiers died in the face off. The NSE Nifty 50 Index added 1%. The yield on the most traded 6.45% 2029 bond rose by five basis point to 6.03%, while the rupee weakened 0.2% to 76.2125 per U.S. dollar.

“The loss of lives is hitting investor sentiment,” said Rahul Sharma, head of research at Mumbai-based Equity99 Advisors. “There’s already negativity due to the spike in number of coronavirus infections.”

There were “casualties on both sides,” an Indian army spokesman said in New Delhi Tuesday, adding that officials were meeting to defuse the situation. The clash comes as India begins to reopen business after an extended lockdown even as coronavirus cases continue to climb.

“The China news rattled the market sentiment and that’s getting reflected in market moves,” says Harish Agarwal, a trader with FirstRand Bank Ltd. in Mumbai.

The Numbers

  • Ten of 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by a measure of finance stocks
    • HDFC Bank Ltd. gave the Sensex its biggest boost and had the largest gain of 4.2%
    • ITC Ltd. was the biggest drag on the index, declining 1.2% while Tech Mahindra Ltd. had the biggest drop, falling 2.8%

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