February 7, 2020 / 4:43 AM / in 17 days

Indian shares tick lower, set to end four days of gains on virus fears

BENGALURU, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Indian shares snapped edged lower on Friday, on course to snap four straight sessions of gains, as rising concerns about the economic impact from a coronavirus epidemic led to a downturn in global sentiment.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.21% at 12,113.20 by 0407 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index fell 0.2% to 41,226.66.

The weakness was in line with Asian peers, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropping 0.7%, as the death toll from the coronavirus in China rose to 636.

India’s central bank also noted the risks posed by the coronavirus to global growth as it held rates steady on Thursday.

“China is a big player in the global trade and to that extent, if problem increases, it will slow down the pace of global trade,” said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets, referring to the virus outbreak.

State-owned banks were the top losers in the Nifty, with an index tracking the lenders falling nearly 1%.

Metal stocks dropped 0.8% after rising sharply for the last four sessions.

Automaker Eicher Motors slid 2.7% to emerge as the top laggard in the Nifty.

However, strong corporate earnings lent some support to the market. Hero Motocorp rose more than 3% after its third-quarter profit beat estimates and topped the gainers in the blue-chip index. (Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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