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  1. Sensex, Nifty lackluster gain as Modi’s BJP squeezes in a narrow victory in Gujarat

Sensex, Nifty lackluster gain as Modi’s BJP squeezes in a narrow victory in Gujarat

Sensex and Nifty ended little higher on Monday as Narendra Modi led BJP managed to get only a narrow majority in Gujarat elections as against strong margin predicted by exit polls earlier last week.

By: | Published: December 18, 2017 3:50 PM
BSE Sensex gained 138.71 points or 0.41% to finish at 33,601.68 whereas NSE Nifty settled 55.5 points or 0.54% higher at 10,388.75. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Sensex and Nifty ended little higher on Monday as Narendra Modi led BJP managed to get only a narrow majority in Gujarat elections as against strong margin predicted by exit polls earlier last week. The Bharatiya Janata Party may be on a winning streak to book a sixth term but this time the saffron bearer has lost a phenomenal seat share. Through the day, investors remained in a dicey situation as the counting progressed which swung closely between BJP and Congress. In the 2012 assembly election of Gujarat, Bharatiya Janata Party captured 127 seats out of 182, implying a seat share of 69.78%. According to latest count available, this time BJP has only managed to gather about 98 seats out of 182, implying a seat share of 53.84%. The drop in seat share of BJP clearly shows that while Rahul Gandhi led Congress may not have won the elections but INC (Indian National Congress) has trimmed BJP’s stronghold in Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat. BSE Sensex gained 138.71 points or 0.41% to finish at 33,601.68 whereas NSE Nifty settled 55.5 points or 0.54% higher at 10,388.75.

Shares of M&M (up 2.75%), Sun Pharma (up 1.9%), State Bank of India (up 2.3%), Wipro (up 1.67%), ICICI Bank (up 1.73%) and Maruti Suzuki (up 1.69%) emerged as the major gainers on Sensex while Yes Bank (down 0.97%), Coal India (down 1.09%), Infosys (down 0.68%), ITC (down 0.85%) and HDFC (down 0.63%) were the major laggards. The heavyweight stocks of companies such as ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, M&M, Maruti Suzuki, L&T, TCS, HDFC Bank, and Sun Pharma contributed the most in the Sensex rise. Collectively these 8 stocks added about 157 points to the index while a downtick in Infosys, ITC, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank capped the upsurge.

Almost all the sectoral indices of NSE closed in green with Nifty PSU Bank, Nifty Pharma, Nifty Auto, Nifty Metal leading the charges while Nifty Realty ended in the red. In the early trades today, Congress inched ahead sharply and was seen leading BJP neck to neck as vote counting advanced. Following this, the benchmark Sensex tanked as much as 867.34 points to hit the day’s low of 32,595.63 while the broader Nifty plummeted 188.3 points to hit the day’s low at 10,074.8. Word on the street is that a strong or even a comfortable win for BJP in Gujarat will boost the market sentiment in the short term. Nifty may fly past the level of 10,490 if the actual results for BJP are even better than what exit polls showed.

The much-awaited results of keenly fought assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat has been almost out today. In both states, PM Narendra Modi led the campaign for the BJP, while Rahul Gandhi was the pivot of the Congress’ electioneering. During the campaign in Gujarat, Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah trained guns on the Congress on issues like Ram Temple, alleged Pakistani interference in the Gujarat polls and (suspended Congress leader) Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remarks.

The counting of votes has been carried out at 37 centres across the state’s 33 districts, amidst tight security. For the 182 seats up for grabs, a total of 1,828 candidates contested the elections which were held in two phases on December 9 and 14. The voting was held following an acrimonious campaign where both the main political parties indulged in no-holds-barred attacks on each other. The main contestants from the BJP are Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani (Rajkot West), Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel (Mehsana) and state BJP unit president Jitu Vaghani (Bhavnagar West). The main contenders from the Congress are Shaktisinh Gohil (Mandvi), Arjun Modhvadia (Porbandar), Siddharth Patel (Dabhoi), and Paresh Dhanai (Amreli).

Earlier on Friday last week, Indian stock markets closed higher on Friday after blazing in the morning trades as investors rejoiced the exit poll results which has predicted an easy win for BJP in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. S&P BSE Sensex concluded 216.27 points or 0.65% higher at 33,462.97 whereas NSE Nifty added 81.15 points or 0.79% to settle at 10,333.25.

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