India’s Special Diwali Trading Doesn’t Always Augur Well

Shares tend to rise during hour of Diwali trading only to fall later
Data: Bloomberg; graphic by Bloomberg Businessweek

As India celebrates Diwali, the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. and BSE Ltd. will both open for about an hour of trading on Thursday, as investors make ceremonial purchases marking the festival of lights and the start of the Hindu new year. In the past 10 years, trading during the so-called auspicious period, called Muhurat, has ended on a positive note seven times, data compiled by Bloomberg show. But it’s a different story when the market fully opens after the celebrations: the first day of the Hindu calendar has seen stocks close lower 80 percent of the time in the last decade.

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