Indian Stocks Extend Losing Streak as Virus Cases Continue to Rise

Indian stocks dropped, extending their losing streak to a fourth day, on concern that the rising virus count and deteriorating health of companies will put the nation’s grim economic state back on investors’ radars.

The S&P BSE Sensex declined 1.8% to 36,939.6 in Mumbai, marking its longest losing streak since March. The benchmark gauge last week capped its best two-month performance since 2009 as investors looked past the worst economic outlook in more than 40 years and the third-highest coronavirus case-count globally. The NSE Nifty 50 Index lost 1.6% today.

“The number of Covid cases is rising and there is an in-built correction on the cards after Nifty gained steadily over the last 4-5 months,” said Sanjiv Bhasin, an analyst at IIFL Securities Ltd. in Mumbai, “We think August could be a difficult month for stocks.”

India’s Home Minister, Amit Shah, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, tested positive for coronavirus as domestic cases rose to 1.75 million. The country has one of the world’s fastest growing epidemics, adding more than 50,000 cases each day. Corporate financial health is also deteriorating, with bond investors starting to demand more protection.

Of the 30 Nifty 50-member companies that have announced results so far, 20 exceeded or matched estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. None are scheduled to post earnings today.

The yield on the 10-year bond was little changed at 5.84%, while the rupee weakened 0.3% to 75.01 against the U.S. dollar.

The Numbers

  • Fourteen of 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of banks
  • Twenty-four Sensex shares dropped while five rose
    • Reliance Industries Ltd. was the biggest drag on the index with a 2.8% fall, while Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.’s 4.4% drop was the steepest

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