An Electronic Ticker Board Indicates the Closing Figures of the BSE Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Sensex Advances Again as India Sets Date for National Elections

(Bloomberg) -- Indian stocks rose, with the benchmark equity index climbing to a more than five-month high, after the election commission set a date range for national polls, and said the result will be unveiled on May 23.

The S&P BSE Sensex advanced 1 percent to 37,054.10, its highest close since Sept. 19. The gauge rose 1.7 percent last week for its best five-day gain since the end of November, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The NSE Nifty 50 Index jumped 1.2 percent.

Opinion polls show Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party secured the biggest electoral victory in three decades in 2014, may win the most seats, but fall short of majority. The Sensex surged 30 percent in that year, the most since 2009.

Strategist View

“Elections will occupy the mind space of investors and with the process running for nearly two months, there will be speculation in the market even though it will be a while before we see the actual trend,” said Joseph Thomas, head of research for Emkay Wealth Management in Mumbai.

The Numbers

  • All but one of 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a gauge of telecom companies
  • Bharti Airtel Ltd. was the best performer on the benchmark gauge
  • Dilip Buildcon Ltd. surged 7.2% after it was declared lowest bidder for a 4.8 billion-rupee National Highway Authority of India Ltd. project

Analyst Notes/Market-Related Stories

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