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Markets

Indian shares fall as inflation hits 3-month high, COVID-19 cases rise

  • The Nifty Bank Index shed 2% after rising 0.76% last week. HDFC Bank Ltd was the top drag on the Nifty 50, falling 1.5%.
Published March 15, 2021

BENGALURU: Indian shares fell 1% on Monday, dragged down by financials, after February retail inflation surged to a three-month high, while a jump in COVID-19 cases also weighed on sentiment.

By 0513 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index declined 1.02% to 14,877.55, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 1.05% to 50,259.50.

A combination of rising COVID-19 cases, a jump in core inflation and a fall in industrial output weighed on market sentiment, according to Aishvarya Dadheech, a fund manager at Ambit Asset Management in Mumbai.

After market hours on Friday, government data showed annual retail inflation rose to 5.03% in February on higher fuel prices, which could pressure the central bank's accommodative stance, while core inflation was estimated in a range of 5.61%-5.9% by four economists.

Data also showed industrial output as measured by the Index of Industrial Production contracted 1.6% year-on-year in January.

India is battling a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, led mainly by a renewed surge in the western state of Maharashtra.

The country reported this year's biggest daily rise in cases of 26,291 on Monday. India is the third-worst affected country globally with 11.39 million cases, behind the United States and Brazil.

Yes Bank Ltd fell as much as 2.8%. The Reserve Bank of India has rejected the lender's application to set up an asset reconstruction company for bad loans.

The Nifty Bank Index shed 2% after rising 0.76% last week. HDFC Bank Ltd was the top drag on the Nifty 50, falling 1.5%.

In its stock market debut, precision engineering solutions company MTAR Technologies Pvt Ltd opened nearly 83% above its issue price of 575 rupees.

Broader global markets were trading higher, as investors bet on a faster economic recovery after the signing of a $1.9 trillion US stimulus bill into law last week.

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