Sensex, Nifty decline as virus fears dent sentiment
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares ended lower on Monday, dragged by banking and metal stocks, as a rise in coronavirus cases at home and abroad dented investor sentiment.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index fell as much as 2.19% to 11,252.6 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down as much as 2.02% each at 38,990.76. Both indexes fell sharply at around 1400 local time (0830 GMT) after European markets opened.

Global markets fell as some European countries such as Denmark, Greece and Spain imposed renewed restrictions on activity due to rising COVID-19 cases, which threatened to stall recovery.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, was down 0.5% at 0748 GMT.

Indian equities, which were trading little changed on Monday morning, began to fall once the European markets opened due to pessimistic sentiment from the re-imposition of COVID-19 restrictions, said Ajit Mishra, vice-president at Religare Broking.

India's coronavirus cases touched 5.49 million by Monday morning, government data showed, a tally second only to the United States.

The pandemic led to Asia's third-largest economy reporting its deepest quarterly contraction in decades last month, as the government looks to ease curbs for economic activity to resume.

"Sectors such as manufacturing and logistics are still facing challenges and that is impacting sentiment largely," Mishra said.

The Nifty banking index, which tracks both state-owned and private-sector lenders, fell for a third straight session and was down as much as 3%.

The Nifty metals index slipped about 5.5%. Miner Hindalco fell as much as 9% and was the top percentage loser on the Nifty.

Kotak Mahindra Bank was the top gainer, closing 0.84% higher.

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