Domestic financial markets Monday cheered exit poll results that showed the ruling NDA is likely to win the general elections, with the benchmark BSE Sensex skyrocketing over 900 points, and the rupee appreciating 79 paise against the US dollar. After soaring over 962 points in early session, the 30-share index pared some gains and was trading 687.63 points, or 1.81 per cent, higher at 38,618.40. In similar movement, the broader NSE Nifty was trading 203.05 points, or 1.78 per cent, up at 11,610.20. Top gainers in the Sensex pack include Maruti, L&T, SBI, ICICI Bank, RIL, M&M, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Yes Bank and Vedanta, rising up to 4 per cent.
On the other hand, Bajaj Auto, Infosys and HCL Tech slipped up to 2 per cent. Most exit polls Sunday forecast another term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with some of them projecting that BJP-led NDA will get more than 300 seats to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha. The results of the seven-phase polls will come out Thursday. "The exit polls have been better than market expectations, with the ruling party getting a comfortable majority. The market is likely to rally further, but the rally may not be significant as there are challenges of not so encouraging earnings growth, lower liquidity, slowing economy and global challenges," said Naveen Kulkarni, Head of Research, Reliance Securities. There could be sector-specific rally. Infrastructure and banking stocks could do well, he added.
Meanwhile, market regulator Sebi and stock exchanges have beefed up their surveillance mechanism to check any manipulative activities in the market this week in view of the high-octane election related events lined up. Foreign institutional investors sold equity worth Rs 1,057.82 crore on Friday, while domestic institutional investors purchased shares to the tune of Rs 1,809.76 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed. Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in China, Japan and Korea were trading on a mixed note in their respective early sessions. On the currency front, the rupee appreciated by 79 paise to 69.44 against the US dollar in opening trade Monday. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading at 73.28 per barrel, higher by 1.48 per cent.