June 17, 2020 / 4:05 AM / 20 days ago

Indian shares edge lower as border tensions with China weigh

BENGALURU, June 17 (Reuters) - Indian shares inched lower in early trade on Wednesday as escalating border tensions with China and a spike in coronavirus cases both at home and abroad kept investors from making bold bets.

Late on Tuesday, the Indian army said 20 of its soldiers had been killed in clashes with Chinese troops at a disputed border site in the western Himalayas.

The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.53% to 9,859.55 by 0349 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.54% at 33,416.67.

Broader Asian markets were little changed on Wednesday as fresh cases of the coronavirus infections and rising geopolitical tensions hurt investor confidence.

North Korea on Wednesday rejected a South Korea offer to send special envoys and vowed to send back troops to the border one day after the secretive country blew up a joint liaison office that was set up in a border town as part of a 2018 agreement by the two countries’ leaders.

In early Mumbai trading, financial stocks were under pressure with shares of the country’s largest lender State Bank of India slipping 1.79%. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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