Sensex zooms to lifetime high as NDA wins Indian elections - GulfToday

Sensex zooms to lifetime high as NDA wins Indian elections

Sensex

Traders watch share prices on a digital broadcast outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai on Thursday. Agence-France-Presse

Inayat-ur-Rahman, Senior Staff Reporter / Agencies

The BSE Sensex hit another lifetime high of 40,030.86 on Thursday morning as the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won majority in the Lok Sabha vote count.

The VIX, or the volatility index, dropped by over 27 per cent to 20.15 from the 30 that it had hit on Wednesday when fresh nervousness gripped investors ahead of counting day.

This signals that the market is expecting a stable government with a full mandate.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  retained power on Thursday as its candidates led in 229 of the 405 Lok Sabha seats from where counting trends were available in the morning hours, leaving the Congress far behind.

At 11.07am, the S&P BSE Sensex was up by 695.86 points, or 1.78 per cent, at 39,806.07. It touched a high of 40,124.96 and a low of 39,464.69.

The broader Nifty was up 207.05 points, or 1.76 per cent, at 11,944.95.

Shares of the Gujarat-based Adani group companies, as well of the Reliance group, among few other large caps, logged gains as Prime Minister Narendra Modi retained power.

“Consensus on the big upward rally on the victory of the BJP-led NDA can be used for unwinding long positions on market heavyweights like Reliance, HDFC, SBI, among others,” he added.

The top five Nifty50 stocks were Adani Ports, Yes Bank, State Bank of India, BPCL and IndusInd Bank.

The broader NSE index, which on early vote results surged 2.58% to a record 12,041.15, closed down 0.69% at 11,657.05. The benchmark BSE index, which reached an all-time high of 40,124.96, ended 0.76% lower for the day at 38,811.39.

“Giving credence to the old adage ‘sell on facts’, the domestic markets witnessed a sell-off on the election results,” said Joseph Thomas, head of research at Emkay Wealth Management in Mumbai.

After Modi’s big victory, “the focus will now be entirely on the agenda before the new government, and how they are going to address the economic realities around rural incomes and job creation,” he added.

The partially convertible rupee also surrendered its early advance. It ended at 70.02 per dollar versus a previous close of 69.6750 after earlier rising to the session high of 69.3750.

Unlike stocks and the rupee, bonds held on to some gains. Low inflation, ample liquidity support from the central bank and expectations of easier monetary policy helped sentiment.

The benchmark 10-year bond yield closed down 2 basis points at 7.24% after earlier touching 7.19%, its lowest level since April 9, 2018.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept to a huge election victory, giving his party the mandate to pursue business-friendly policies, as well as continue to take a hard line on national security and internal issues.

Thursday morning’s stock market surge reflected investors’ comfort with a big Modi win. They largely view his National Democratic Alliance as more pro-industry than the opposition-led Congress.

Modi’s government had mixed success in its first term, facing criticism for slowing growth and a failure to create jobs while winning plaudits for implementing tough tax and banking reforms and infrastructure spending.

Investors expect a second term will give him time to carry through those reforms while pushing for more fiscal and monetary stimulus.

From a shortage of job opportunities and a stuttering economy to tense ties with old foe Pakistan, Modi will face a host of challenges after winning a big majority on Thursday.

The NSE index rose 64.8% during Modi’s first term, through Wednesday’s close.

Getting the index to stay above 12,000 “will be difficult for the market because now the reality will kick in, people will go back to results and global cues,” said Samrat Dasgupta, CEO at Esquire Capital Investment Advisors. “I feel there is only a limited upside.

“I do not expect a big correction but definitely some consolidation for the next couple of months before the new cabinet’s policies kick in. I feel one big uncertainty has been removed so it becomes a buy-on-dips market again.” Rajeev Pawar, a group head at Edelweiss Financial Services, said any sustained market rally would require “concrete steps to address liquidity and credit stress”.

“Revival, reflation and reform should be the mantra going ahead,” he added.

Investors said health of the corporate and financial sectors was of paramount concern.

“The successful execution of the insolvency and bankruptcy code and corrective action to rein in non-performing loans in the public banking sector would enable financial institutions to support the next round of credit growth,” said Leong Lin-Jing, Asian fixed income investment manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

“If Modi can implement the rest of his reform measures during his second term, it will certainly increase India’s growth potential.”

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to unite the country on Thursday after a huge election win, with his party on course to increase its majority on a mandate of pursuing business-friendly policies and a hard line on national security.