February 28, 2020 / 4:28 AM / a month ago

Indian shares set for worst week in four years as pandemic worries escalate

* Wall Street confirms correction

* Investors flee risk assets as coronavirus spreads globally

* World stocks set for worst week since 2008

* India’s GDP data due after markets close

By Sethuraman N R

BENGALURU, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell on Friday, tracking steep falls in world markets, and set for their worst week in four years on growing fears that the coronavirus outbreak could turn into a pandemic and derail global growth.

Investors will likely focus on the release of the December quarter growth data for clues on how Asia’s third-largest economy fared in the last three months of 2019.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index fell 2.5% to 11,341.65 by 0348 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex declined 2.52% to 38,760. Both the indexes have shed about 6% so far this week, on track for their worst week since Feb. 12, 2016.

Overnight, the Dow registered a record one-day points drop on Thursday and the S&P 500 confirmed its fastest correction in history, while world share markets were headed for the worst week since the depths of the 2008 financial crisis.

“Until last week, the market was of the view that coronavirus is going to have only a minimum impact on global economy ... An increase in the number of new cases is changing the view,” Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services, said in a note.

“There are fears of some slowdown in the economy.”

India’s economy grew at 4.7% in the December quarter, according to the median forecast of a Reuters poll of economists, marginally higher than 4.5% in the previous quarter. The economy had expanded at its weakest pace in over six years in the September quarter.

All Nifty 50 shares were trading in the negative territory, with Tech Mahindra leading the losses, down 5.5%

The blue-chip Nifty 50 index is off over 8.5% from its lifetime high hit on Jan. 20, weighed down by the coronavirus outbreak and a lacklustre federal budget.

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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