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Money News

Sensex, Nifty end lower on virus fears, financials suffer

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares closed lower on Friday as record daily increases of domestic coronavirus cases threatened to disrupt an economic recovery, with financial stocks taking the brunt of the losses.

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The NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI fell 0.42% to 10,768.05 and the S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN 0.39% to 36,594.33.

But the indexes closed the week up about 1.5% each, recording their fourth straight weekly gain, following a rally driven by a flush of liquidity and hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Cases in the world’s second-most populous country jumped by 26,506 to 793,802 as of Friday morning, including 21,604 deaths, health ministry data showed.

Record jumps in cases in many U.S. states also chipped away at risk appetite, with U.S. futures and stocks in Asia and Europe retreating.

Among individual shares, top mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp HDFC.NS suffered its worst day in more than a month, closing 2.9% lower after latest shareholding data suggested China's central bank sold some or its entire stake in the lender during the June quarter.

Private-sector lenders Axis Bank AXBK.NS and IndusInd Bank INBK.NS slipped 3.1% each, and the Nifty Financial Services Index .NIFTYFIN, which has plunged nearly 24% so far this year, fell 1.9%.

Karnataka Bank Ltd KBNK.NS rose 3.7% to a 16-week closing high after reporting a rise in quarterly profit.

State-run Punjab National Bank PNBK.NS fell 5.5% after it reported loans made to shadow lender DHFL DWNH.NS worth 36.89 billion rupees ($490.95 million) as "fraud".

Losses were limited by Reliance Industries RELI.NS, which jumped 3% to a record closing high after BP BP.L paid the conglomerate $1 billion to set up a joint network of thousands of petrol stations across India.

Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Uttaresh.V

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