Slumping Stock Turnover in India Signals Caution as Vote Starts

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Stock trading volumes slumped in India ahead of voting in national elections that started Friday, as factors from tight global interest rates to geopolitical turmoil and searing local temperatures spurred caution on a market trading near peak levels.

Daily cash turnover slipped below $13 billion last week compared with a peak of $17 billion in February, data compiled by Bloomberg based on 20-day averages show.

The NSE Nifty 50 Index is coming off its first weekly decline in over a month amid heightened volatility across global markets while concerns about valuations continue weigh on local shares, which reached new highs this year.

“The mood is a little lackluster,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities Ltd. Global developments, including the conflict in the Middle East, have been having a bigger impact on Indian stocks in recent weeks and will continue to be key factors along with corporate earnings until the end of the elections, he said. The voting runs for six weeks.

The dip in cash trading is in line with derivative volumes, with 20-day average value easing to $4.2 trillion in April from $5.4 trillion in February.

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