India’s benchmark stock indices were trading marginally lower on Thursday morning as investors remained nervous ahead of Britain’s referendum on its European Union status.
The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty opened slightly lower, turned positive but again slipped in the red. The Sensex was at 26,762.15, down 3.5 points or 0.01% and the wider Nifty50 was at 8,193.45, down 10 points or 0.1%.
The mood was similar across other Asian markets, with jittery investors as the Brexit polls were too close to call. While, Japan’s Nikkei stock average and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng were trading higher, Shanghai Composite, Korea’s Kospi among others were down.
“Markets are treading cautiously as the Britons begin voting with just hours to go in the Brexit referendum. As per the betting odds, there is a greater probability that Britain will vote to stay in the EU rather than leave, although opinion polls show the two camps are roughly neck-and-neck,” said Sageraj Bariya, vice-president at East India Securities.
On the Sensex, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors, Lupin and Dr Reddy’s were among the top gainers, rising 1-2% in morning trade. NTPC, Cipla, Power Grid and ONGC were among the losers.
Companies like Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, among others, which have a lot of exposure to UK market could take a hit if Britain votes to leave the European Union. Analysts also expect global currency volatility if that scenario plays out, and the US Dollar and Yen could strengthen. Emerging market currencies including the Rupee could be under pressure if Britain votes to exit.