Shares slip as surging coronavirus cases weigh

A moderate correction in stocks after a week of significant gains.

Reuters reports: “Indian shares slid on Friday, dragged by banking and financials as investors offloaded some overbought stocks, while muted Asian markets and rising domestic coronavirus cases added to the pessimism.

The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.75% at 11,132.50 by 0350 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.82% at 37,829.60. However, both indexes were on track for a fifth straight week of gains.

The Nifty and Sensex have gained more than 33% each since India first went into lockdown in late March, while coronavirus cases that numbered in hundreds at that time, have touched 1.29 million by Friday morning, according to government data

Broader Asian markets saw a muted start as China vowed retaliation against the United States after Washington closed Beijing’s consulate in Houston, Texas.

In Mumbai, banking and financial stocks led losses. The Nifty banking index, which tracks both state-owned and private-sector lenders, slid 1.3% and the Nifty financials index shed 1.4%.

Large shadow lender HDFC Ltd was the top laggard on the Nifty among stocks, falling 2.1%, followed by the country’s biggest lender by assets State Bank of India, which slid 2%.

Pharma stocks, however, gained for the day with the Nifty pharma index rising 1.3%. Drugmaker Sun Pharma rose 3.8% and topped the Nifty gainers.

Reliance Industries gained for a sixth day in a row, after a media report that Amazon was in talks for a potential investment in the conglomerate’s retail arm.”

With inputs from The Hindu