The Indian markets continued their slide on Wednesday even as global markets remained under pressure from worries of an escalation of the US-China trade tensions. Indian indices were further hammered by the flight of foreign institutional investors (FIIs) amid reports of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader's remarks about the likelihood of a coalition government after the Lok Sabha elections even though two more phases of voting remains before the May 23 counting day.
While global markets showed signs of deceleration of the decline, Indian indices lost by wide margins. Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex slipped under 37,800 points after losing close to 1.27 per cent or 487 points to close at 37,789 points. The National Stock Exchange (Nifty) lost 1.20 per cent or 138 points to fall to 11,359 points. Sensex briefly slipped below 37,750 to touch an intra-day low of 37,743 points. Nifty ducked under 11,350 for a while to bounce off an intra-day low of 11,347 points. The benchmarks had shed nearly 1 per cent each on Tuesday tracking global indices.
Market sources attribute the prodigious movement to frantic selling by FIIs, spurred by the twin factors of escalating US-China trade wars and talk of coalition politics returning to New Delhi. FIIs turned net sellers in May after pumping in nearly Rs 60,000 crore in the first four months of the year. If Nifty fails to hold at the support level of 11,350, it could slip to the 11,050-11,070 zone, according to technical experts.
Indian markets have held on despite some volatility through the fractious election period amid the prospect of market-friendly Prime Minister Narendra Modi returning to power heading a majority government. However, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav's remarks during a speech about the likelihood of the party heading a minority government at the head of a coalition seem to have dented the market confidence.
While Madhav stressed the need to temper the expectations in the light of realities like anti-incumbency, BJP president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley continued to express the confidence that the party would cross the magical figure of 272 members in the 543-member Lok Sabha. The party would be happy to win 271 seats on its own, according to Madhav, while it had 282 members in the outgoing house.
All sectoral indices including volatility index India VIX declined on the NSE as only ten scrips of the 50-share Nifty advancing. Experts suggest caution with shares that have excessive exposure to FIIs. Shares like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Bharti Infratel, IndusInd Bank and Axis Bank have up to 70 per cent exposure to foreign funds.