Indian shares slide on growth fears; Adani group stocks fall

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani

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BENGALURU (Jan 25): Indian stocks opened lower on Wednesday on weak economic data from the US that hinted at a possible recession, and downbeat growth outlook from companies.

The Nifty 50 index was down 0.39% at 18,047.50 as of 9.25am IST, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.32% to 60,783.21.

Most of the major sectoral indexes declined with the high-weightage financials and information technology losing 0.6% and 0.4% respectively.

Auto stocks advanced 0.2% on the back of strong third-quarter earnings from Maruti Suzuki, and ahead of the results from Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto, scheduled to be reported later in the day.

Thirty-seven of the Nifty 50 constituents declined, with Adani Ports and Adani Enterprises among the top losers.

The slide comes after short-seller Hindenburg Research said it holds short positions in the Adani Group companies through US-traded bonds and non-Indian-traded derivative instruments, and flagged risks to the financials of key companies.

"Key listed Adani companies have also taken on substantial debt, including pledging shares of their inflated stock for loans, putting the entire group on precarious financial footing," Hindenburg said.

Overnight, the S&P Global's Flash Composite Output index in the US rose to 46.6 in December, official data showed. A reading below 50 indicates acontraction in business activity, signalling the possibility of a near-term recession in the world's largest economy.

Wall Street equities ended mostly lower with S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite logging losses.