Home >politics >policy >Trading in stocks dips as rains disrupt life in Mumbai

Mumbai: Mumbai’s commuter train services came to a halt and municipal authorities asked schools to close after heavy rains on Friday flooded the city’s streets and forced officer goers to return home.

All the three train lines in India’s commercial hub were affected by the downpour, Siddhesh Sawant, an official with Colaba’s police control room, said on the phone. The networks ferry as many as 8 million people daily, including traders in the stocks, bonds and currency markets, forming the backbone of Mumbai’s infrastructure.

The CNX Nifty Index climbed 0.6% to 8,224.15 as of 10:48am amid volumes that were 18% below average for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The rupee was little changed, while the yield on the government note due 2024 fell 2 basis points. The flooding brought back memories of a cloudburst in July 2005 that dumped three feet of rain during high tide on a single day, a record in India in a century.

“The incessant rains have upset all schedules," said Paras Bothra, vice president of equity research at Ashika Stock Broking Ltd. “We expect trading volumes to be lower as people living in the suburbs are having trouble reaching offices."

The main bourses—the National Stock Exchange and BSE Ltd—had a combined average daily turnover of $3.4 billion in the past six months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

El Nino year

BSE’s chief executive officer Ashishkumar Chauhan said some of the traders may choose to work from a location close to their homes and volumes may not be affected too much.

“We have to wait and see as most of the volume comes from other" centers outside Mumbai, he said.

There’s been no disruption in trade settlements, NSE spokesman Arindam Saha said.

The city of 19 million people has a century-old drainage system that makes it susceptible to flooding during the June-September monsoon season. The 2005 deluge paralyzed the metropolis, grounded flights and cut off rail and road links, while more than 570 people died.

Almost 80% of India received excess or normal showers since 1 June, defying forecasts by the nation’s weather bureau that El Nino would curb rainfall. The city is likely to get heavy rains in the next 24 hours, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.

Farmers depend on the monsoon, which accounts for more than 70% of annual rainfall, to grow crops and produce hydro-electricity, and for drinking water. Monsoon rains irrigate more than half of India’s farmland, where sowing begins in June. Bloomberg

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