By Derek Francis
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares fell on Thursday as infrastructure stocks declined after weak results from Larsen and Toubro, with surging global coronavirus cases and uncertainty around the U.S. election further dampening sentiment.
The NSE Nifty 50 index <.NSEI> fell 0.6% to 11,661.05 by 0415 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex <.BSESN> declined 0.5% to 39,725.73.
Larsen and Toubro (L&T) <LART.NS> fell as much as 4.86%, dragging down the Nifty infrastructure index <.NIFTYINFRA> 1.27%, after the industrial conglomerate reported a quarterly loss from continuing operations on a standalone basis on Wednesday.
The company declared a special dividend of 18 rupees a share, which was lower than expectations, said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice-president at SMC Global Securities.
“L&T’s management also refrained from giving any sort of guidance and the market is not happy about that,” Jain said.
The domestic market was also pressured by fears of a contested U.S. presidential election and concerns over the global economic recovery as European countries imposed new restrictions to contain a second wave of virus infections.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> slumped 1% after U.S. stock indexes overnight posted their biggest single-day decline since June.
“Markets are seriously nervous with the way the virus is spreading in Europe,” SMC Global’s Jain said. “There are concerns that the economic recovery could be patchy.”
At home, the country’s coronavirus cases crossed a grim milestone of 8 million, health ministry data showed.
The Nifty state-owned banks index fell 0.9% and was the biggest percentage loser among sectors. The Nifty autos index <.NIFTYAUTO> declined 0.6%.
Watchmaker Titan Co <TITN.NS> slid 2.6% after the company reported a drop in quarterly profit on Wednesday.
Asian Paints <ASPN.NS> rose 1.7%, topping gainers in the Nifty. Axis Bank <AXBK.NS> rose 0.5% after returning to a quarterly profit.
Maruti Suzuki <MRTI.NS>, India’s biggest carmaker by market share, telecom firm Vodafone Idea <VODA.NS>, airline operator Interglobe Aviation <INGL.NS> and refiner BPCL Ltd <BPCL.NS> are among companies reporting earnings on Thursday.
(Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)