By P.R. Venkat


India's key stock-market indexes were severely battered as investors dumped shares after the country's national election trends showed that the ruling Narendra Modi-led coalition isn't likely to score a decisive victory, as predicted by exit polls.

The country's benchmark Sensex closed 5.7% lower at 72079.05 on Tuesday, registering its worst performance in more than four years. The Nifty 50, representing the weighted average of 50 of the country's largest companies listed on the National Stock Exchange, slumped 5.9%.

Trends so far show that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance is leading in 293 seats, while the opposition Congress-led I.N.D.I.A. alliance is leading in 231 seats, according to private news channel NDTV's website. Vote counting is under way.

The Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, has 543 seats, and control of half the seats, 272, is needed to win an election.

Most exit polls over the weekend suggested that Prime Minister Modi's BJP would beat the 303 seats it won in the 2019 general elections and indicated that the alliance would capture a two-thirds majority in parliament.

Indian stock markets surged Monday in response to the exit polls, with the Sensex gaining 3.4% to 76468.78, its biggest one-day jump in more than three years.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries, controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, lost 7.5%. Shares of Adani Group companies, controlled by Asia's richest man, Gautam Adani, also took a beating.

Adani Enterprises dived 19%, while Adani Power and Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone shed 17% and 21%, respectively.

Financial stocks also suffered, with ICICI Bank ending 7.5% lower and the country's largest public sector bank, State Bank of India, losing 14%.

The Indian rupee weakened about 0.5% against the U.S. dollar.


Write to P.R. Venkat at venkat.pr@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-04-24 0708ET