May 4, 2020 / 4:10 AM / a month ago

Indian shares slump as government extends coronavirus lockdown; HDFC Bank slides

BENGALURU, May 4 (Reuters) - Indian shares tumbled on Monday, dragged down by heavyweight financial stocks, after the government extended the world’s biggest coronavirus-induced lockdown for another two weeks.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 4.25% at 9,448.15 by 0356 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was 4.34% lower at 32,260.30.

Shares in India’s largest private-sector lender HDFC Bank Ltd dropped 6% and were the top drag on the Nifty.

Reliance Industries, the country’s most valuable company, was down 0.8% after a raft of headlines.

On Thursday, it reported its worst profit slide in 11 years and unveiled the country’s largest rights issue, while on Monday the oil-to-telecoms conglomerate announced a nearly $750 million investment from U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake.

India said on Friday it would extend its nationwide coronavirus lockdown for another two weeks after May 4, however, it eased restrictions in lower-risk zones.

But air and rail travel, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, cinema halls and places of worship still remain closed.

India’s shutdown has pummelled the economy at a time when growth has already slowed, depriving millions of day labourers of income and stranding rural migrants in cities where they can no longer afford rent or food. (Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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