Indian Shares Weighed Down by Reliance, Virus Worries


BENGALURU, May 3 Reuters Indian shares fell on Monday as conglomerate Reliance Industries slid after missing quarterly profit estimates, and as investors weighed growing calls to curb economic activity to check a relentless surge in COVID19 infections.

The NSE Nifty 50 index declined 0.53 to 14,553.4 by 0508 GMT, while the benchmark SP BSE Sensex dropped 0.66 to 48,460.4, after shedding more than 1 each in early trading.

India reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases for a twelfth straight day, taking its overall caseload to just shy of 20 million.

A leading industry body on Sunday urged authorities to take the strongest national steps and to curtail economic activity to save lives, while the Indian Express newspaper reported the countrys COVID19 taskforce had advised the federal government to impose a national lockdown.

There may be a kneejerk reaction in markets if any drastic measure is announced, but we have experienced harsh lockdowns before, so industries will be better placed and there may not be as big an impact in the medium term, said Nirali Shah, head of equity research at Samco Securities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modis government is reluctant to impose a national lockdown on concerns about its economic impact, although several states have announced restrictions.

Reliance, the countrys largest company by market value, fell as much as 2.6 after reporting quarterly profit that missed expectations as costs climbed.

The Nifty Bank index was the…


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