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Indian shares end lower on fears of lockdown extension

Wed 8th April, 2020 12:25pm
By Chandini Monnappa
    BENGALURU, April 8 (Reuters) - Indian stocks closed lower on
Wednesday as investors locked in some recent gains amid fears of
an extension of the coronavirus-led lockdown and its impact on
business.
    Senior officials told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that
India's financial hub Mumbai was set to extend lockdown measures
until at least April 30.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2BW1RO
    The market see-sawed through the day, with the NSE Nifty 50
 .NSEI  closing 0.49% lower at 8,748.75 and the S&P BSE Sensex
 .BSESN  ending 0.58% lower at 29,893.15.
    "Globally, things are not great, it is very volatile, there
will be pressure and some profit-taking," said Neeraj Dewan,
director at Quantum Securities in New Delhi.
    "There are fears about the rising number of cases and
probable extension of the lockdown, too."
    Global stocks turned negative with the pan-European STOXX
600 index  .STOXX  dipping 0.7% and London's FTSE 100  .FTSE 
falling 0.9%. U.S. futures were also lower.  MKTS/GLOB 
    Local media reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi
suggested on Wednesday that the lockdown will be extended and
restrictions will not be lifted in one go after April 14.
    The lockdown has already brought economic activity to a
juddering halt and shaved over 23% off Indian stocks in March,
with analysts saying an extension would mean more trouble for
the market.
    As of Wednesday, India reported over 4,500 infections and
nearly 150 deaths.
    The Nifty bank index  .NSEBANK  closed 0.6% lower and the
Nifty IT index  .NIFTYIT  slipped 0.77%.
    However, the Nifty pharma index  .NIPHARM  remained in
positive territory, trimming gains to settle 3.5% higher.

 (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa; Editing by Saumyadeb
Chakrabarty)
 ((Chandini.M@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822697;))
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