July 10, 2020 / 5:15 AM / a month ago

Indian stocks slip on virus fears; pharma, Reliance limit losses

* Nifty, Sensex down 0.2% each

* Domestic cases jump by record 26,506

* Reliance up, gets $1 bln from BP for petrol station venture

By Chris Thomas

BENGALURU, July 10 (Reuters) - Indian shares fell on Friday as a relentless surge in domestic coronavirus cases threatened to disrupt an economic recovery, although gains in pharmaceuticals and heavyweight Reliance Industries helped limit losses.

The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.19% to 10,792.5 by 0454 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.24% at 36,648.11. The indexes were, however, headed for their fourth straight week of gains, after a rally driven by a liquidity flush and hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Cases in the world’s second-most populous country jumped by a record 26,506 to 793,802 as of Friday morning, including 21,604 deaths, health ministry data showed.

“Fundamentals are still very shaky at point as virus cases rise, and quarterly results may throw up some negative surprises,” said Krish Subramanyam, co-head, equity advisory at Altamount Capital in Mumbai. “Investors may be looking to book some profits after the recent appreciation.”

Asian shares and U.S. stock futures too slipped on Friday as record surges in many U.S. states stoked fears of new lockdowns that could hurt an economic recovery.

In Mumbai trading, telecom infrastructure company Bharti Infratel Ltd slid 3.3%, while Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd fell 3.2% to a four-week low.

State-run Punjab National Bank fell 6.7% after it reported loans made to shadow lender DHFL worth 36.89 billion rupees ($490.95 million) as “fraud”.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd fell 1.2% after the top IT exporter, the first of major Indian corporates to report their June-quarter results, posted a bigger than expected 14% drop in profit on Thursday as the pandemic forced its clients to cut spending on IT services.

Meanwhile, the Nifty Pharma Index, the best performer so far this year with gains of more than 24%, was up 1.7%. Sun Pharma climbed 3.2%.

Reliance Industries rose 1.4% after BP paid the conglomerate $1 billion to set up a joint network of thousands of petrol stations across India. ($1 = 75.1400 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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