February 26, 2020 / 4:33 AM / in a month

Sensex, Nifty end lower as virus spread sparks pandemic fears

A man looks at a screen displaying news of markets update inside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended lower on Wednesday, weighed down by auto and metal stocks, on investor concerns about a potential coronavirus pandemic.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index ended 1.01% lower at 11,678.50, and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.97% to 39,888.96.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, fell 1% as economic growth concerns were heightened due to the spread of the virus outside of its epicentre in China, where it has claimed almost 3,000 lives.

In the domestic market, auto stocks fell most and the Nifty auto index shed 2.15%. Automakers such as Tata Motors and TVS Motor have already warned of a hit to production due to the virus outbreak.

The Nifty metals index dropped 1.63% as prices fell on the London Metal Exchange (LME) on growing pandemic fears.

Gail (India) was the top laggard among the Nifty stocks, falling 5.22%, while Yes Bank rose 3.98%, topping the list of gainers.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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