February 28, 2020 / 6:33 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 virus spreads globally

* World stocks set for worst week since 2008

* India’s GDP data due after markets close (Adds comment, details)

By Sethuraman N R

BENGALURU, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Indian shares tumbled 3% on Friday, on track for their worst week in four years, as global markets fell on growing fears that the coronavirus outbreak could turn into a pandemic and derail growth.

Asia’s third largest economy is scheduled to release December quarter growth data later in the day, but analysts said fears from the outbreak were over-riding any possible relief.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index fell 3% to 11,284.85 by 0558 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex also declined 3% to 38,577.

Both indexes have shed over 6% so far this week, on track for their worst week since Feb. 12, 2016.

The Indian rupee was trading 0.43% weaker at 71.9475 per dollar, while the benchmark 10-year bond yield stood at 6.3875% as of 0600 GMT.

Overnight, the Dow registered a record one-day points drop 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 as the rapid spread of the virus outside China prompted investors to dump risky assets.

“It is clearly evident that this quarter’s (global) growth will be affected and since we are not close to a resolution for the virus problem, this spillover will also get into the next quarter,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president research, SMC Global Securities.

The Nifty 50 index is down over 9% and the Sensex more than 8% from their record highs hit on Jan. 20, largely due to worries about the outbreak.

Jain said there could be a “relief rally,” but a bottoming out is unlikely since there was no solution to the outbreak yet.

All Nifty 50 shares were in the red, with Tata Motors leading the losses, down 8.74%.

“The impact of the virus has already started on Indian companies. It will impact segments such as auto and auto ancillary the most,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

“This quarter is likely to be weak compared to the last quarter for many companies.”

Having suffered its weakest expansion in over six years in the September quarter, India’s economy probably fared slightly better in the December quarter, before suffering a relapse due to the impact of the coronavirus globally, analysts said. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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