Equity benchmarks BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 opened in red on Wednesday. While the Nifty was down by 0.26 per cent, or 57 points, at 22,245, the Sensex was at 73,307, down by 0.28 per cent, or 204 points.

A total of 3,015 stocks were actively traded, 1,720 advanced, 1,182 declined and 113 remained unchanged at 9.50 am on the BSE. While 61 stocks hit 52-week high and 21 stocks hit 52-week low on the stock exchange.

VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said, “The pressure on the market now is due to the uncertainty regarding the election outcome. There is a lot of speculation in the media regarding this, adding to the uncertainty in the market. The India VIX spiking 72 per cent from the April lows indicates that high volatility will persist for some more time. It is important to understand that VIX is based on Nifty index options prices. The spike in VIX is due to rising volume of options trades. Many investors are buying put options to protect their portfolio in case of an unexpected election outcome.

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“For long-term investors, the ongoing volatility and uncertainty present buying opportunities. Despite the uncertainty, the base case scenario is the return of the NDA to power. Once clarity emerges on this, the market will bounce back sharply led by high quality large-caps which are weak now due to big selling by FIIs. The FII selling in May till now has touched ₹9194 crore dwarfing DII buying of ₹5129 crore. This divergence is unlikely to last long.”

Major gainers on the NSE include Coal India (1.84%), BPCL (1.37%), Tata Steel (0.76%), Maruti (0.69%) and Reliance (0.56%). Major losers include, Dr Reddy’s Lab (-3.69%), L&T (-1.57%), Asian Paints (-1.31%), Hindustan Unilever (-1.16%) and HDFC Bank (-1.09%).

BSE SmallCap was up by 0.35 per cent and MidCap index was down by 0.48 per cent.