Nerve-wracking. This is how you can describe the market movement on the day the votes of Lok Sabha elections are counted if you go by the experience of the last three elections. In the run-up to the counting day, on Monday, the Sensex and Nifty clocked their biggest single-day gain in 10 years after exit polls predicted the return of BJP-led NDA at the centre, with comfortable majority. And then on Tuesday, the Sensex fell 1% and on Wednesday again closed with modest gains.
Analysts however caution that any disappointment on the result day could lead to correction as markets are pricing in a clear victory for the NDA government. And going forward, the markets’ focus would shift back to fundamentals (corporate earnings) and global cues which have been volatile due to re-escalation of trade tensions between US-China.
Sensex performance in last three vote counting days
16 May, 2014 – Sensex hits 25,000 for first time
Open - 24,271.54
Intraday high - 25,375
Intra-day low - 23,873
Close - 24,121
Previous close (May 15, 2014) – 23,905
The Sensex on May 16, 2014, created history by hitting 25,000 for the first time as trends indicated a clear majority for Narendra Modi-led BJP in Lok Sabha 2014 polls. However, it retreated on massive profit-booking to end at record close of 24,121, a gain of 216 points or 0.90%. Intra-day, the Sensex surged a massive 1,470 points to hit a then life-time high of 25,375 in early trade fuelled by hopes that BJP government would fast-track reforms and accelerate economic activity.
18 May 2009 – History on Dalal Street, markets hit two upper circuit limits
Open - 13,479
High - 14,284
Close - 14,284.21
Previous close (15 May 2009) 12,173
Actually, 16 May, 2014, was the vote counting day for Lok Sabha 2009 elections but since it was a Saturday, stock markets were closed. On Monday, 18 May, 2009, the markets reacted to the UPA’s decisive win with a massive upsurge. For the first time in Indian market’s history, trading was halted for the day due to markets hitting upper circuit limit. The 30-share BSE index rose 17.34% to close at 14,284.
14 May, 2004 – Sensex logs big fall
Open - 5,409.34
Intra-day high - 5,416.04
Intra-day low - 5,043.99
Close - 5,069.87
Previous close (13 May 2004) - 5,399
The counting for 2004 elections started on 13 May but on May 14, 2004, when the Congress-led UPA emerged the surprise winner in the general elections, the Sensex fell 6% and plunged another 11% the next session (17 May, 2017).
On 17 May, 2014, Sensex dropped by 565 points, its then-third biggest fall ever, to close at 4,505. With the NDA out of power and the Left parties, part of the UPA coalition government, flexing their muscle, the Sensex witnessed its then-second-biggest intra-day fall of 842 points, twice attracting suspension of trading.