Mumbai, India (BBN) – The Sensex and Nifty ended little changed on Thursday after two consecutive sessions of declines, as sentiment remained subdued ahead of the results of state elections, including that of Uttar Pradesh.
Exit polls are due out around 5:30pm local time (1200 GMT), and have often been wrong in the past, but any clear trend showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in front could trigger buying by investors, reports The Hindu Business Line.
Actual results will be announced on Saturday, and will help to shape the next two years of Modi’s government as it heads for the 2019 general election.
Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities, says: “A BJP win could take the market very close to the new high.”
The broader NSE index closed up 2.7 points or 0.03 per cent at 8,927, while the benchmark BSE index ended 27.19 points or 0.09 per cent higher at 28,929.13.
Among BSE sectoral indices, auto index was up 0.56 per cent, consumer durables 0.34 per cent, banking 0.24 per cent and IT 0.11 per cent.
On the other hand, oil & gas index fell the most by 0.65 per cent, metal 0.65 per cent, healthcare 0.46 per cent and infrastructure 0.46 per cent.
Top five Sensex gainers were Maruti (+1.67 per cent), State Bank of India (+1.3 per cent) Axis Bank (+1.16 per cent), Tata Motors (+1.07 per cent) and Asian Paints (+0.87 per cent), while the major losers were Dr Reddy’s (-5.01 per cent), GAIL (-2.27 per cent), Adani Ports (-1.96 per cent), Wipro (-1.96 per cent) and ONGC (-1.56 per cent).
Uttar Pradesh election is the world’s largest this year and will have a key influence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chances of clinching a second term in 2019.
Talks of a hung house suddenly gained momentum in the last phase of polling with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself flagging the possibility of a hung Assembly in the State.
Even before the election results are declared on March 11, party insiders do not discount chances of a fractured verdict after the seven phases of polling that will come to an end today in the absence of any wave.
World shares chalked up their longest losing streak in well over a year on Thursday as bets on rising US interest rates propelled the dollar and benchmark bond yields higher and beaten-up commodity markets struggled to find a footing.
With global energy stocks on the run, MSCI’s 46-country All World index fell for a sixth consecutive day, the longest slide since the start of 2016 and down from an all-time high set just weeks ago.