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Persistent virus fears pressure Indian shares; financial stocks stumble

* NSE index 0.78% lower, BSE index falls 0.79%

* Nifty banking index down 1.9%, financials index drops 1.7%

* COVID-19 cases cross 900,000 in India

BENGALURU, July 14 (Reuters) - Indian shares ticked lower on Tuesday led by losses in banking and financial stocks, as investors fretted over a further delay in economic recovery, with domestic coronavirus cases rising and and parts of the country going back into lockdowns.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.78% at 10,718.75 by 0435 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.79% at 36,404.51.

Coronavirus cases in the world's second-most populous country rose to 906,752 as of Tuesday morning, according to the federal health ministry data www.mohfw.gov.in, leaving investors concerned about its impact on the Indian economy as many states and cities tighten restrictions again.

“A large part of cities that make up the service economy are under lockdown conditions, so it does not look like the economy is moving ahead,” said Samrat Dasgupta, chief executive at Esquire Capital Investment Advisors.

“We cannot expect the market to be completely out of sync with this.”

The industrial hub of Pune, near the financial capital Mumbai and the southern city of Bengaluru, known as India’s silicon valley, both announced fresh lockdowns starting this week, as the cities saw cases rising unabated.

Asian shares slipped on simmering Sino-U.S. tensions and persistent coronavirus concerns.

In Mumbai, banking and financial stocks fell further after a Moody’s report on Monday warned of COVID-19 related headwinds to the Indian banking sector, which is already grappling with a huge volume of bad debt and a loan repayment moratorium which threatens to hurt revenue.

The Nifty banking index fell 1.88% and the financials index shed 1.72% in early Tuesday trading. Both indexes are on track for a third-straight day of losses.

Among stocks, large shadow lenders HDFC Ltd and Bajaj Finserv dropped 3.18% and 2.9%, respectively.

IT services firm Wipro Ltd was the top gainer on the blue-chip Nifty index, advancing 1.36%, ahead of its quarterly earnings report scheduled for later in the evening. (Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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