Indian shares extend losses on worries over new virus strain

BENGALURU, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Indian shares reversed from early gains to trade lower on Tuesday, extending a sell-off from the previous session, as worries deepened over a fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus detected in Britain.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.85% at 13,243.30 by 0411 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.54% to 45,317.91.

Both the indexes rose as much as 0.8% in early trade.

Both the Nifty and Sensex tumbled 3% on Monday, snapping six straight sessions of gains as the new virus strain dimmed hopes of a global economic recovery.

On Tuesday, the Nifty Media index was down 4.25% and the Nifty PSU Bank index fell 3.3%.

Shares of India’s most valuable company, Reliance Industries Ltd, slipped as much as 2.64% and were the top drag.

Airline stocks also extended losses after India announced suspension of all flights from the UK to the country until the end of the year.

Interglobe Aviation fell as much as 5.44% and SpiceJet Ltd slid 10%. Broader Asian shares extended a pullback from multi-year highs hit last week on concerns over the highly infectious new strain of COVID-19. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)