A man looks up at an electronic screen displaying stock figures at the the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  

Indian Stocks Drop as Polls Anxiety Combines With Global Selloff

(Bloomberg) -- Indian equities tumbled alongside stocks in Europe and Asia as investors remained risk averse ahead of the outcome of key state elections that may set the tone ahead of the national ballot in 2019.

The S&P BSE Sensex slid 1.6 percent, the biggest drop since Oct. 11, to 35,312.13, while a gauge of mid-cap stocks -- a barometer of retail investor interest -- ended at its lowest level in more than a month. The NSE Nifty 50 Index slipped 1.7 percent.

While a resurgence of global growth worries has contributed to weakness in risk assets, the uncertainty around the outcome of elections in five states -- a gauge of voter mood toward the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party’s government -- is the reason the Sensex is set for its biggest weekly loss in more than a month. Exit polls are expected after markets close Friday, with counting due on Dec. 11.

Indian Stocks Drop as Polls Anxiety Combines With Global Selloff

The Numbers

  • All 19 sector sub-gauges compiled by BSE Ltd. slipped, led by the S&P BSE Energy Index’s 2.4 percent loss, the biggest drop in over a month.
  • Reliance Industries Ltd. and Infosys Ltd. were the biggest drags on the Sensex.
  • Maruti Suzuki Ltd. and Tata Motors Ltd. were the worst performers on the benchmark index.

Strategic View

  • “We see caution setting in among investors as the last of the states go to polls tomorrow,” said Jitendra Panda, managing director at Peerless Securities Ltd. in Kolkata. “Investors are expecting mixed results in the elections and are staying in cash until results are out.”

Analyst View

  • India Bank Margins to be Volatile on RBI’s Loan Rule: Jefferies

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.