Indian shares were deep in the red on Friday as the detection of a new and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant in South Africa sent investors scurrying toward the safety of bonds, the yen and the dollar.
The benchmark 30-share BSE Sensex slumped 942 points, or 1.6 percent, to 57,852 in early trade, while the broader NSE Nifty index was down 301 points, or 1.7 percent, at 17,235.
Titan Company, Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki India, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bajaj Finance and Bajaj FinServ all fell around 3 percent.
ITC fell over 1 percent after announcing it has started clinical trials of a nasal spray for the prevention of Covid-19.
HDFC lost 2.5 percent on fund raising reports.
Bharti Airtel declined 1.7 percent even as Fitch Ratings affirmed its long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating.
TCS edged up slightly on winning a multi-year deal from metal and mining company South32.
JSW Energy gave up 2.6 percent after its board approved re-organization of renewable and thermal businesses.
Piramal Enterprises shed 2.7 percent. Piramal Capital & Housing Finance has announced a strategic partnership with API Holdings.
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