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Mumbai deluge: Brokers work from home; BSE, NSE staff spend night in offices

On Tuesday, trading volume on Nifty was 13.56 per cent lower than its 3-month daily average.

, ETMarkets.com|
Updated: Aug 30, 2017, 12.25 PM IST
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India’s financial capital Mumbai came to halt on Tuesday and Wednesday after the metropolis recorded some 298 mm rainfall, the highest in a day in August since 1997, according to data from the India Meteorological Department.

As Mumbai shut offices early and employees rushed home to avoid getting trapped in the flooding from the heaviest rainfall in nearly 20 years, trading volumes on the stock exchanges fell steeply on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, trading volume on the Nifty50 index was 13.56 per cent lower than its three-month daily average. Total volume of country’s largest bourse slipped 4 per cent from the daily average for the month. The 50-share index settled below the 9,800-mark on Tuesday.

Market experts felt volumes would be low on Wednesday too, as many skipped offices and some opted to work from home. Many top brokers shut their offices in central Mumbai and were either working from sub-office or their homes. The city shut schools, colleges and most government offices to tide over the situation.

People are stuck at their offices and homes because of the sudden flooding, said Chandan Taparia, Derivatives and Technical Analyst at Motilal Oswal Financial.

Confidence level is looking low among traders and advisers. This is affecting trading volumes on the bourses, he said.

Yet, the BSE Sensex rallied over 300 points to trade near 31,700, while Nifty50 leapt over 100 points to cross past the 9,900 mark.

Mumbai is home to the nation’s two biggest stock exchanges, BSE and NSE. The bourses had several of their employees staying in their offices overnight, as they could not go home due to the heavy rains. Staying arrangements were made for them at the offices or nearby hotels so that they can resume duties on Wednesday.

Taparia himself was working from a branch office near his home on Wednesday due to flood-like situation in Mumbai. He said an estimated 20-30 per cent people would have skipped office on Wednesday.

Dyaneshwar Padwal, AVP for Technical Analysis, KIFS Trade Capital said, “Trading volumes on Tuesday were impacted by Mumbai rains. Most of employees are on leave today as we reached home around 12.00 midnight yesterday. Volumes are looking dry on Wednesday also. Those who travel by public transport faced difficulty.”

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted “heavy to very heavy rains” in entire coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, on Wednesday. However, the volume of the downpour may not be as high as Tuesday.

BSE and NSE witnessed similar drop in trading volumes also on July 26-27, 2005, when the Maximum City witnessed a similar deluge after some 944 mm rainfall in a single day. Trading volume shrank nearly 30 per cent than usual on July 27 as compared with that on July 26.

Traffic on the Western Railway suburban network – Mumbai’s lifeline – came to a grinding halt on Tuesday due to torrential downpour. “The first train left Churchgate in South Mumbai for Virar at 2358 hrs,” Western Railway tweeted.

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