BENGALURU, March 25 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell sharply
for a second straight session on Thursday, led by losses in
financial and technology companies, on concerns over the
possibility of fresh restrictions to curb the spread of
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index and the benchmark
S&P BSE Sensex fell 1% to 14,405 and 48,675.66,
respectively, as of 0507 GMT. The indexes had dropped nearly 2%
in the previous session.
India's daily COVID-19 cases hit a five-month high on
Thursday and the country put a temporary hold on all major
exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shot made by the
Serum Institute of India to meet domestic demand.
"The market is definitely worried about the impact of the
spread of COVID-19. There would be an economic impact and there
are fears over a partial lockdown," KK Mittal, an investment
adviser at Venus India.
Analysts also expect huge volatility in markets ahead of the
monthly expiry of derivatives.
India's Nifty bank index fell 1.3% and the public
sector bank index dropped 2.4%.
Selling in the Nifty bank index, which has fallen more than
5% this month, has been a major pain point for domestic markets
despite a major relief to the sector this week after India's top
court rejected pleas for extending moratorium on bank loan
repayments, analysts said.
The Nifty information technology index fell 1.3%.
Only six stocks traded in the positive territory in the
bluechip Nifty 50 index, with heavyweights Reliance Industries
and Tata Consultancy Services weighing the
most, falling 1% each.
Shares of speciality chemicals maker Laxmi Organic
Industries surged nearly 19% in its market debut in
Mumbai, while those of engineering company Craftsman Automation
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy