Stock markets were volatile in both India and Pakistan on Wednesday amid worsening ties and reports of clashes between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.
After Indian Air Force jets carried out an air strike on Pakistan-controlled Kashmir on Tuesday, Pakistan retaliated on Wednesday afternoon. Islamabad said later that two Indian aircraft were shot down and two pilots captured. India confirmed that one of its jets had been shot down, but said it had also brought down a Pakistani fighter plane.
Pakistan insisted it does “not want to go towards war” with India. However, the tensions between the two countries clearly affected stock trading.
In India, the Bombay Stock Exchange fell nearly 600 points from the day’s high, while the National Stock Exchange’s Nifty index slipped below the 10,800 mark. The Nifty fell by 0.8% to 10,751.20 after rising as much as 0.96% earlier in the day. However, later in the day, they made mild recoveries.
The Sensex opened on Wednesday at 36,138 points, rallied for a couple of hours and around 11am it reached its intraday high of 36,371 points. After the news of Pakistani air attack came, trading became choppy and the Sensex plunged to an intraday low of 35,735 points.
Meanwhile, stock markets in Pakistan were also hit, with the equity benchmark at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE 100) falling nearly 1,500 points on Wednesday, continuing Tuesday’s decline after the Indian air strikes in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Stocks have fallen nearly 2,000 points since Tuesday.
This is the biggest fall since July 11, 2017, when the index fell 4.65% after an investigation team constituted by the Pakistan Supreme Court reported that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family had accumulated wealth beyond their known sources of income.