Indian shares reverse course to end lower as restriction worries return

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Indian shares reverse course to end lower as restriction worries return

By Soumyajit Saha

BENGALURU, April 20 (Reuters) - Indian shares gave up gains to end lower on Tuesday as investors locked in profits in IT services stocks, while fears of more economic pain from coronavirus lockdowns also weighed on sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI fell 0.44% to 14,296.4, while the S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN lost 0.51% to end at 47,705.80.

The two indexes have retreated 6.9% and 8.7%, respectively, from record highs hit in February as surging COVID-19 cases threaten to stifle a nascent economic recovery.

India's daily COVID-19 cases retreated from record levels on Tuesday, but it reported 1,761 deaths overnight, its highest daily toll. enthusiasm about extending vaccines to all adults died out as other realities came to the fore ... there is also a fear that as elections wind up, restrictions may get stricter," said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets.

The Indian government said on Monday it would let all citizens over the age of 18 have COVID-19 vaccinations from May 1 and would waive customs duty on vaccine imports as the country's healthcare system struggled to provide for patients. the losses, IT stocks .NIFTYIT fell 1.4% as HCL Technologies HCLT.NS dropped 3.4%.

"Tech stocks have enjoyed good price momentum and a few heavyweights recently reported results that were in line with expectations ... so we can expect some routine profit taking and tepid share performance," Gandhi said.

Consumer goods stocks .NIFTYFMCG lost 0.6% to fall for a second straight session, with Hindustan Unilever Ltd HLL.NS down 1.7%.

Financial stocks .NIFTYFIN ended 0.6% lower, with Housing Development Finance Corp HDFC.NS dropping 3.3% and declining the most on the benchmark index.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical stocks .NIPHARM rose 1.3%, with Dr.Reddy's Laboratories Ltd REDY.NS soaring 3.6% amid rising demand for medical supplies and testing services.

Auto stocks .NIFTYAUTO also advanced, with Maruti Suzuki India Ltd MRTI.NS adding 2%.

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