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Astrazeneca Adds to Indian Share Falls, Reliance Gets Boost

BENGALURU, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Indian shares tracked a deepening sell-off on global stock markets on Wednesday, with AstraZeneca’s domestic unit down up to 12.3% after the UK drugmaker paused global trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.76% to 11,231.10, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.79% to 38,063.11 by 0449 GMT.

Losses in MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were heavier, topping 1.1%, after technology stocks were hammered again on Wall Street overnight, sending the Nasdaq into correction territory.

Conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd provided some support to the Nifty, rising as much as 1.5% after the company said private equity firm Silver Lake would invest 75 billion rupees ($1.02 billion) in its retail arm.

Almost all major sectors in Mumbai were trading lower, however, with the Nifty bank index falling 1.94% and the Nifty energy index shedding 0.92%.

HDFC Bank Ltd and ICICI Bank Ltd were among the top drags, falling as much as 1.5% and 2.7%, respectively.

Defensive sectors such as pharmaceuticals and IT performed slightly better, with the Nifty pharma index rising 0.16%, while the Nifty IT index fell only 0.51%.

AstraZeneca Plc said late on Tuesday it was pausing late-stage trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed with the University of Oxford, widely seen as of one of the leading vaccine candidates against the new coronavirus.

($1 = 73.7050 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

Source: Reuters

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