Indian shares fall after global tech rout, coronavirus vaccine trial halt

BENGALURU, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Indian shares opened lower on Wednesday after a sell-off in U.S. technology stocks roiled Asian markets, while drug maker AstraZeneca’s India unit fell up to 12.3% after the parent paused global trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.71% to 11,236.90, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.64% to 38,117.09 by 0349 GMT.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.12%, after heavyweight technology stocks were hammered overnight on Wall Street, sending the Nasdaq into correction territory.

Sentiment was also dampened after AstraZeneca plc paused late-stage trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed with the University of Oxford, widely seen as of one of the leading vaccine candidates against the coronavirus.

Almost all major sectors were trading lower, with the Nifty bank index falling 1.07% and the Nifty energy index shedding 1.09%.

However, conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd rose as much as 1.5% after the company said private equity firm Silver Lake would invest 75 billion rupees ($1.02 billion) in its retail arm. ($1 = 73.7050 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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