India Stocks Decline as Rising Virus Cases Weigh on Sentiment
A person looks at a screen and electronic ticker board show outside the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

India Stocks Decline as Rising Virus Cases Weigh on Sentiment

India stocks fell, tracking peers across Asia, as rising coronavirus infections and tougher lockdowns added to worries about the economic hit from the pandemic.

The S&P BSE Sensex declined 0.4% to 39,749.85 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index fell 0.5%. If the pace holds through Friday, the drop in both measures is set to be the steepest of any full week since the end of September.

Stocks fell in most Asian markets following a selloff in U.S. and European equities amid renewed fears of a deeper recession. India’s economy is headed for a record contraction after a nationwide lockdown shuttered most shops and businesses for months.

“Rising Covid-19 cases globally, specifically in Europe and the U.S. are worrying investors as strict lockdowns could be imposed and a nascent economic recovery could once again get hit,” Ajit Mishra, vice president of research at Mumbai-based Religare Broking Ltd. wrote in a note Wednesday evening. “We reiterate our cautious view on markets and suggest continuing with a stock-specific trading approach.”

As earnings continue, 14 of the 27 Nifty 50-member companies that have announced results so far have beaten or matched estimates, 12 have missed predictions, while one isn’t comparable.

The rupee weakened 0.3% to 74.11 per U.S. dollar, while the yield on the 10-year government bond climbed two basis points to 5.88%.

The Numbers

  • Fourteen of 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of capital goods companies
  • HDFC Bank Ltd. contributed most to the Sensex decline, dropping 1.9%, while Larsen & Toubro Ltd. was the worst performer with a 4.9% drop; the nation’s biggest engineering conglomerate saw a sequential drop in quarterly sales as businesses struggled to emerge from the pandemic-led lockdown

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