Budget Day: Sensex Ends 212 Pts Higher; Auto, Consumption Stocks Rally


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Mumbai, Feb 1 (PTI) Benchmark Sensex ended over 212 points higher in see-saw trade Friday after the government presented a farm-friendly, consumption-oriented Budget ahead of the general elections.

After rallying over 500 points to hit the day’s high of 36,778.14, the 30-share index gave up all gains and sank to 36,221.32 in late-afternoon trade. It finally ended 212.74 points, or 0.59 per cent, higher at 36,469.43.

Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty jumped 62.70 points, or 0.58 per cent, to close at 10,893.65.

Auto and consumption stocks buzzed as investors welcomed incentives for the agriculture sector and middle class in the budget, traders said.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal proposed to double the threshold tax exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh and increased the standard deduction to Rs 50,000 from Rs 40,000.

The proposal will benefit 3 crore middle-class tax payers, Goyal said while unveiling the budget proposals for 2019-20.

As widely expected, the finance minister also announced the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi for small and marginal farmers, providing Rs 6,000 per year to be transferred directly to farmers’ bank accounts.

Overall, market mood was positive even as the government overshot the fiscal deficit target for the current financial year on the back of populist measures ahead of the general elections.

Goyal said the fiscal deficit for the current financial year is expected to be 3.4 per cent of GDP. As per the Budget estimate, the fiscal deficit for 2018-19 was pegged at 3.3 per cent.

“All these are those factors (sops) are going to bring in a lot of liquidity to the market in terms of investment,” said Mustafa Nadeem, CEO, Epic Research.

Some profit-booking and consolidation in the short term was expected as prices tend to absorb the Budget, but we expect the momentum to remain strong, he added.

The BSE auto, consumer durables, FMCG and realty indices climbed up to 2.62 per cent.

Top gainers in the Sensex pack included Hero MotoCorp, Maruti, HCL Tech, Asian Paints, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finance, HDFC, RIL, HUL, Bharti Airtel and PowerGrid, rising up to 7.48 per cent.

Vedanta was the biggest loser on the Sensex, cracking 17.82 per cent after the metals and mining giant Thursday reported a 25.54 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 1,574 crore for the December 2018 quarter on the back of higher expenses and drop in commodity prices.

Banking stocks were the other top losers, with Yes Bank, SBI, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank falling up to 4.68 per cent.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 3,006.41 crore Thursday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 1,634.32 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai Composite Index rallied 1.30 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.07 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended 0.04 per cent lower and Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.06 per cent.

In the Eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.20 per cent, Paris CAC 40 was up 0.19 per cent and London’s FTSE jumped 0.37 per cent in late morning deals.

The rupee, meanwhile, depreciated 24 paise against US dollar to 71.32.

The benchmark Brent crude futures were trading slightly lower at USD 60.53 per barrel.



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