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Indian shares fall sharply on fears over new coronavirus variant

Kitco News

BENGALURU, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Indian shares dropped more than 1% on Friday, with losses seen across sectors, as investors fled risky assets after a new and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant was detected in South Africa.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 1.43% at 17,284.75 by 0349 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 1.45% to 57,944.50.

Scientists said that the newly identified variant may be able to evade immune responses, raising concerns about COVID-19 outbreaks and new restrictions. Asian markets, too, suffered their sharpest drop in two months following the news. Autos, banks and energy stocks were the worst hit in early trading in Mumbai, with the sub-indexes down between 1.5% and 1.7%.

The Nifty Pharma Index was the only sub-index bucking the trend to trade 0.4% higher.

(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V) Twitter: ))

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