Indian shares fall weighed by financials, rising COVID-19 cases

(Corrects typo in company name in paragraph 10)

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares fell on Monday, pressured by financial stocks, as investors moved money into so-called safe sectors due to fears of fresh curbs as coronavirus cases in the country rise again.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.4% to 14,687 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.6% to 49,579.75 as of 0502 GMT.

“There is some nervousness among the market participants given the second wave of COVID-19, new restrictions coming in place,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president of research at SMC Global Securities in New Delhi.

“We are seeing some sectoral rotation with money going to information technology and pharma stocks.”

Daily coronavirus cases in the country hit their highest since early November on Monday and some regions have reimposed containment measures, including lockdowns and restaurant closures, with more steps being considered.

India’s two main stock exchanges last week posted their first weekly decline in three, due to a fresh surge in domestic COVID-19 cases and rising U.S. bond yields.

On Monday, the Nifty bank index fell 0.9% and the finance index dropped 0.7%.

Investors fear that rise in cases and new restrictions will affect the paying back capacity of businesses, hurting banks, Jain said.

On the bright side, the Nifty IT index rose 0.8% and pharma index gained 1.44%.

Shares of Adani Green Energy rose 5% after the company said it had won an order to set up a 300 MW Wind Power project.

Tata Motors shares dropped 1.2% after the company said on Friday that Marc Llistosella Bischoff, who was supposed to join as chief executive officer and managing director, will not join the company.

Meanwhile, Asian markets turned mixed and bonds bounced on Monday, as a plunge in the Turkish lira sparked talk that capital controls might be needed to stem the rout.

(Corrects typo in company name in paragraph 10)

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