June 15, 2020 / 4:49 AM / a month ago

Indian stocks slip over concerns of rising coronavirus infections

BENGALURU, June 15 (Reuters) - Indian shares slipped on Monday as a rise in domestic coronavirus cases and worries over a second wave of infections in China sapped investors’ appetite for riskier assets.

As of Monday, COVID-19 cases in India had surged well past 332,400 and deaths were over 9,500. India is the fourth-worst affected country in the world.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.9% at 9,878.45 by 0430 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was down 1.1% at 33,404.42.

Beijing also recorded dozens of new cases in recent days, all linked to a major wholesale food market, raising concerns about a resurgence of the disease.

Fears of a second wave of infections and a fall in oil prices kept Asian shares in negative territory with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edging 0.3% lower.

“The rising cases of coronavirus is causing investors across the globe to tread cautiously,” said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services in Kochi.

“There is lower risk appetite and there is some hesitation.”

Financial stocks were among the worst hit in Mumbai trading. The Nifty banking index, one of the worst performing sectors this year, was down 2.49%.

Shares of Reliance Industries, the country’s most valuable company, was down half a percent. The oil-to-telecoms conglomerate’s rights issue, the country’s biggest, is set to debut on Monday.

Shares of Tata Motors Ltd fell as much 3.28% and was among the top three drags on the Nifty 50. The car maker is due to post quarterly results later in the day.

Pharma stocks were in the green, with the Nifty Pharma index rising 1.6%.

Drugmakers Cadila Healthcare Ltd and Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd rose after striking licensing pacts with U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences to manufacture and market potential COVID-19 drug remdesivir. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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