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Nifty, Sensex fall for third straight session, banks slide

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares settled lower for a third consecutive session on Friday, dragged by financial stocks as new quarantine restrictions from Britain and weak economic data from China hurt global investor sentiment.

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

The NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI closed down 1.08% at 11,178.40, finishing the week 0.32% lower.

The S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN settled 1.13% lower at 37,861.86, ending the week 0.43% down.

Both indexes had risen over 0.5% each during the session on expectations of more economic relief measures from the government, even as coronavirus cases continue to surge.

“China data is weak and Europe has opened lower and people are realising that COVID-19 impact will not go away easily,” said Deepak Jasani, head of research, HDFC Securities.

“Markets are very fickle minded.”

European shares were dragged lower by a hit to travel stocks after Britain added more European countries to its quarantine list, while the MSCI's world index .MIWD00000PUS was 0.2% lower.

Indian stocks have been hovering around five-month highs, while small-cap shares .SPBSSIP have risen enough to clock a gain in 2020, but many analysts say these rallies did not reflect the economic reality.

“It is a much deserved correction, valuations were going through the roof,” said Samrat Dasgupta, chief executive at Esquire Capital.

In Mumbai, all major sectoral indexes except the Nifty Metal index .NIFTYMET and the Nifty Pharma index .NIPHARM closed in the red.

Banking stocks slid, with the Nifty PSU Bank index .NIFTYPSU and the Nifty private banking index .NIFPVTBNK settling down over 2% each.

A 7.15% drop in Eicher Motors Ltd EICH.NS dragged the Nifty Auto index .NIFTYAUTO 2.57% lower.

Meanwhile, the Nifty Pharma index .NIPHARM and the Nifty Metal index .NIFTYMET closed up 1.42% and 1.06%, respectively. Both indexes finished higher for a third straight week.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Amy Caren Daniel and Krishna Chandra Eluri