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Indian shares track Asian peers lower; PVR, INOX soar on merger

Indian shares followed Asian peers lower on Monday after Shanghai went into a coronavirus lockdown, with losses led by heavyweight financials, while multiplex firms PVR and INOX Leisure surged after announcing a merger.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index (NIFTY) was down 0.71% at 17,030.85, as of 0505 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) slipped 0.77% to 56,918.51. Both indexes were headed for their fourth straight session of losses.

China’s financial hub of Shanghai announced a coronavirus lockdown over the weekend after cases spiked, spurring worries about a hit to global activity.

“Global cues are not very supportive today with Shanghai going into lockdown and no good news out of Ukraine,” said Ajit Mishra, vice president, research at Religare Broking.

“While oil prices have dipped, they are still considerably higher and will keep fuel prices elevated, continuing to pressure economies like India.”

The Nifty and the Sensex have recouped some losses triggered by the Ukraine war and a spike in oil prices, but are still negative for the year.

On Monday, top private-sector lender HDFC Bank (HDFCBANK) slid 2.1%, while heavyweight mortgage lender HDFC Ltd (HDFC) fell 2.5%.

PVR (PVR) jumped as much as 10% and INOX Leisure (INOXLEISUR) soared 20% to a record high, after the companies said they would merge as the COVID-hit entertainment industry looks for ways to recover and minimise losses.

Adani Total Gas (ATGL) climbed as much as 8.2% after reports said the company forayed into electric mobility. The stock was last up 1.7%.

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