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Sensex, Nifty end lower after broader selloff; banks weigh

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares closed sharply lower on Friday, tracking broader equities that fell after an overnight selloff in technology stocks on Wall Street and ahead of key U.S. jobs data, with financial stocks also weighing on the main indexes.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed down 1.68% at 11,333.85, while the S&P BSE Sensex was down 1.63% at 38,357.18.

Global markets edged lower on Friday, after an overnight tech-led plunge on Wall Street and as investors awaited U.S. jobs data to see if it triggered a bigger selloff.

The Nifty fell 2.69% and the Sensex slid 2.81% for the week, after two weeks of gains. The indices have rallied more than 50% since a virus-led crash in March, as huge flows of cheap capital provided by global central banks made heavily discounted stocks attractive.

The Nifty bank index closed 2.21% lower after India’s top court on Thursday directed banks not to declare any loans that were standard as of end-August as non-performing until further orders, raising uncertainty over recovery efforts. ICICI Bank Ltd fell 2.7% and HDFC Bank Ltd slipped 1.1%.

The court is set to hear a case on waiving interest rates on loans under a moratorium on Sept. 10.

“Both the broader selloff and extension of moratorium case have given rise to uncertainties...most traders have either booked their profits or unwound their positions (before the weekend)” said Narendra Solanki, head of equity research (fundamental) at Anand Rathi Investment Services.

India’s most valuable company, Reliance Industries Ltd, was the biggest drag on the Nifty, falling 1.7%.

Automaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd was the only bright spot on the Nifty, closing up 1.7%.

Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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