Bombay Stock Exchange. Fil Photo
Indian stocks jumped to a record highs Thursday as early results in the world's biggest election showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on course for a second term.
The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex index jumped more than two percent to pass the 40,000 mark for the first time ever while the Nifty crossed 12,000 points, also a new landmark.
India's rupee also strengthened, hitting 69.51 against the dollar from 69.67 late Wednesday, as traders welcomed trends that showed Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was set to win a majority.
After almost three hours of counting, figures from the Election Commission showed the BJP in the lead in 291 seats out of 542 with the rival Congress on just 51.
If confirmed -- no results have been published yet -- this would push the BJP over the 272 seats needed for a majority.
It could also beat its tally of 282 when Modi swept to power in the world's biggest democracy in 2014 with the first majority in 30 years.
The result would give the BJP and its allies, which early trends suggested would win close to 50 seats, a commanding majority of around 330 seats.
Indian stock markets have rallied since exit polls on Sunday pointed to a Modi triumph.
On Thursday, the benchmark Sensex rose more than two percent to peak at 40,124.50, while the Nifty, a smaller index based on 50 Indian companies also increased more than two percent, touching a new record of 12,041.00.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Monday that nearly 25 crore poor people in the country will get financial assistance of Rs 72,000 per annum if the party is voted to power under the ambitious minimum income guarantee scheme which the party has named "Nyay."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh now have an unusual candidate pitted against them: Abhinandan Pathak, a lookalike of Modi, who is contesting form Lucknow and Varanasi as an independent candidate.
The US officials with direct knowledge of the situation told the Foreign Policy that US personnel recently counted Islamabad’s F-16s and found none missing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday referred to the death of BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi and four security men in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh to launch a scathing attack at the Congress. Saying that neither the Congress’s intentions nor its policies were honest, he said that the party had done a “PhD in betraying the people.”
An international detergent brand has come under fire for an advertisement questioning gender stereotypes in the conservative patriarchal country, with critics accusing the company of blasphemy.
A passenger train carrying at least 2,000 people derailed as it was crossing a bridge in Bangladesh on Monday killing five people and injuring more than 100, officials said.
The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) recorded 664,480 applications for international protection in 2018, down for the third year running and 10 percent lower than in 2017.