It was business as usual — almost — in Mumbai on Thursday, a day after a new terror attack in the financial centre. But the benchmark Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) swung wildly, more due to economic factors than security fears that only mildly subdued sentiment in early trading.
A look at major bomb blasts across the country over nearly 20 years show that barring three occasions the Sensex closed in the green on the trading day following the blast (see chart).
Asian markets, European trends and inflation data weighed in the minds of traders on a volatile day on which the 30-share indeed closed 22 points higher at 18,618 but the flat close hid the ups and downs of the day.
“Markets run on the fundamentals and not on an event in one town,” said a senior stock exchange official who asked not to be identified.
“The indomitable spirit of Mumbai, the financial capital of India, as always in the past, would once again respond with courage and renewed vigour to such challenges,” finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said.
The Sensex opened weak in line with Asian markets that fretted over Europe’s debt problems and lost up to 147 points or 0.8%. But the index surged 207 points after inflation data was on expected lines.
However, the benchmark sunk again as European markets opened weak and an uneasy mood on IT stocks ahead of Tata Consultancy Services’ quarterly results. The IT index at the BSE fell by 1.5% during the day.
“The attitude and the ability of people in Mumbai to catch up with their normal life almost immediately has a lot to do with this (stability),” said CJ George, CEO, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.