The Indian rupee dropped past 75 to a dollar for the first time since August 2020, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index declined as much as 3%, the most in nearly two months. India reported record 168,912 new infections on Sunday, taking the tally to 13.53 million cases.
India is facing an escalating health crisis, with its second wave of virus infections hitting record highs. Reports are emerging of hospital beds running short and immunization centers turning away people as they run out of vaccines. Many provinces across the nation, from the financial hub Mumbai to Capital New Delhi, are bringing back stricter restrictions on movement of people to curb the surge in cases.
That and a vaccine shortage “are unnerving markets and no one is sure whether lockdowns will help bring cases under control,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities. “The incentive to try and bottom-fish at this point is limited for traders.”
The Nifty 50 Index also dropped by a similar magnitude. All but one of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. slipped, led by a gauge of property stocks. Reliance Industries Ltd (NS:RELI) was the biggest drag on the Sensex, falling 2.8%.
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