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Indian shares fall as financials slide; Adani stocks tumble


A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Indian shares opened lower on Friday as financials sustained the slide on risk aversion due to Hindenburg’s report on the books of Adani group companies, which offset easing concerns of recession in the U.S.

The Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) was down 1.14% at 17,683.40 as of 10:15 a.m. IST, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) fell 1.25% to 59,451.92.

The Nifty financial(.NIFTYFIN) index, which fell 2.13% in the previous session, has lost 2.25% as of 10:15 a.m. IST, dragging the markets down, while oil & gas stocks (.NIFOILGAS) declined over 3.5% with an uptick in crude prices.

Rising oil prices pose a risk to India, one of the largest importers of the commodity.

Stocks of seven Adani companies tumbled between 2% and 17% after falling between 1.5% and 9% on Wednesday when Hindenburg, a well-known U.S. short-seller, said in a report that key listed companies in the group controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani had “substantial debt.”

Adani Ports (APSE.NS) and Adani Enterprises (ADEL.NS) were the top losers on Nifty 50 on Friday, ahead of a 200 billion rupees ($2.45 billion) follow-on public offer (FPO) of flagship Adani Enterprises (ADEL.NS), which begins later in the day and ends on Jan. 31.

The slide in financials and oil stocks overshadowed the positive macro data from the United States. The world’s largest economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter as consumers boosted spending on goods, data showed.

Wall Street overnight ended in the positive territory as strong U.S. economic data eased recession worries. In other Asian markets, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) were up 0.10%.

Investors will shift focus to the Union budget on Feb. 1, with the government’s fiscal consolidation path and borrowing calendar for fiscal 2024 set to be triggers.

On the flipside, auto stocks (.NIFTYAUTO) advanced over 2%, led by gains in Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors after strong third quarter earnings reports.

($1 = 81.6500 Indian rupees)