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India Shares Fall, Ukraine Crisis Deepens; GDP Data in Focus

BENGALURU, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Indian stocks dropped on Monday, with investors joining a global flight from risky assets on worries over fresh sanctions on Russia, while shares of Future Group companies surged after reports that Reliance would take over Future Retail stores.

Investor focus was also on domestic economic growth data due later in the day.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was 1.16% down at 16,465.45, as of 0455 GMT, and the S&P BSE Sensex dropped 1.23% to 55,168.67.

"Since there is a drag on the (Russia-Ukraine) crisis as no negotiations have been made yet between the parties, the equity market is volatile today and a surge in crude prices is also an overhang on the Indian market," said Samrat Dasgupta, chief executive officer at Esquire Capital Investment Advisors.

India's GDP data is set to be released at 1200 GMT. The country's economy likely grew 6% year-on-year during the three months ended December 2021, slower than the previous two quarters, with fears growing over slowing momentum after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a Reuters survey of economists showed last week.

Oil prices jumped over $100 a barrel on Monday after further sanctions were imposed on Russia, heightening fears that oil shipments from the world's second-largest producer could be disrupted.

India is the world's third-largest importer of oil, and high global prices percolate through the economy and hurt consumers, while also widening the country's current account deficit. The Nifty Energy index was 0.35% higher.

Among individual stocks, Future Group companies such as Future Consumer, Future Enterprises, Future Retail and Future Supply Chain Solutions soared as much as between 8% and 16%.

Media reports said Reliance Industries would take over at least 200 Future Retail stores after the debt-laden group failed to make lease payments. 

Nifty's financial services sector index and the auto index were among the top decliners, falling 1.89% and 1.65%, respectively.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Source: Reuters

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