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Sensex, Nifty hit four-month low as virus outbreak fans pandemic fears

Broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian stocks ended lower for a fifth straight day on Thursday after hitting four-month lows, as fears of the coronavirus becoming a pandemic made investors flee riskier assets.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.4% to 11,633.30, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex declined 0.4% to 39,732.93. Both the indexes have shed more than 3.5% so far this week.

Governments ramped up measures on Thursday to battle a looming global pandemic of the coronavirus as the number of infections outside China, the source of the outbreak, for the first time surpassed those appearing inside the country.

Rising fears of a pandemic have wiped out more than $3 trillion in value this week alone from global stock markets.

Both the Nifty and the Sensex have this week fallen below their 200-day moving average, considered to be a key technical support level and a bearish signal, analysts said.

Information technology and financial shares were the top laggards in the Nifty 50 index, with Wipro losing the most, down 3.5%.

Sun Pharma was the top gainer in the Nifty 50 index, rising 3.7%.


(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)