July 31, 2020 / 4:18 AM / 6 days ago

Indian shares inch lower as weak U.S. GDP data, Reliance results weigh

BENGALURU, July 31 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged lower in a volatile session on Friday, after disappointing U.S. economic data dragged markets across broader Asia, while a drop in Reliance Industries’ June-quarter revenue also weighed on the sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.16% to 11,085.45 and the S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.1% to 37,696.72 by 0355 GMT, dragged by banking and financial stocks.

The U.S. economy suffered its biggest blow since the Great Depression in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic shattered consumer and business spending, sending the dollar to two-year lows on Friday and putting it on track for the worst monthly decline in 10 years.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asian shares outside Japan was last down 0.22% by late morning.

Shares of India’s most valuable company Reliance Industries fell 1.5% in early trade, after the company’s revenue from operations fell almost 44% as the coronavirus crisis slammed its refining and petrochemicals businesses.

The country’s coronavirus cases surged by over 55,000 in the past 24 hours to 1.64 million, government data showed. A Reuters poll published on Wednesday said the outlook for Asia’s third-largest economy has worsened as business activity slows due to soaring COVID-19 infections.

Banks and financial stocks led declines in the equities market. The Nifty banking index fell about 1% and the financials index dropped 1.3%.

Large shadow lender HDFC declined 2.4% and topped the Nifty laggards among stocks, while software services firm HCL Technologies was the top gainer, rising 2.3%. (Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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