Indian shares started May on a weak footing amid growing calls, including from an industry body, to impose curbs at the national level to rein in the COVID-19 spread, with conglomerate Reliance Industries leading losses after missing profit estimates.
The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 1.27% to 14,445.1 by 0346 GMT on Monday, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex dropped 1.35% to 48,123.2.
A leading industry body on Sunday urged authorities to take the “strongest national steps” and to curtail economic activity to save lives, as the coronavirus continued to sweep the nation and overwhelm its healthcare systems.
The Indian Express newspaper reported on Sunday the country’s COVID-19 taskforce had advised the federal government to impose a national lockdown.
Reliance, the country’s largest company by market value, fell as much as 2.6% after reporting profit that missed expectations as costs climbed.
YES Bank slumped 11.7% after losses widened due to higher provisions.
Benchmark Nifty 50 components Kotak Mahindra Bank and SBI Life Insurance are due to report results on Monday.