Sensex ends flat after hitting record high on GST rates, up 1% for the week

Source: Shutterstock

Benchmark indices scuttled between gains and losses to finally settle the day marginally higher as 2-day GST Council meet ends where rates for various goods and services were decided.


Government today decided that most of the services would be taxed at the rate of 18% under the GST regime. Rates for more than 1,200 items under the GST were announced with products like hair oil, soaps and toothpaste down to 18% from 22-24%.


Earlier in the day, S&P BSE Sensex rose as much as 278 points to reach a fresh high of 30,712, surpassing its previous milestone of 30,691 hit on May 17 as FMCG surged on GST boost. The index has hit a new high for the fourth time in five sessions.


The S&P BSE Sensex settled at 30,465, up 30 points, while the broader Nifty50 ended at 9,427, down 1 point.


In the broader market, the S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Smallcap indices erased their intraday gains to slip 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively.


The NSE index has gained 0.3% so far this week, while the BSE index has risen 1.29%. Both the indexes are on track for a second straight weekly gain.

"Positivity over GST rates agreement got lost in the global tremors over political uncertainty. With currencies remaining volatile and with derivatives expiry approaching, investors chose to lock in gains on the last working day of the week,” said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services in a note.


Sectors and Stocks

ITC, HUL, SBI, Axis Bank and Cipla gained the most on the BSE Sensex while Asian Paints, M&M, TCS and GAIL lost the most. 


S&P BSE FMCG index rallied more than 3% at intra-day to a record high with ITC and Hindustan Unilever rising to their highest ever as well. Colgate Palmolive was the biggest gainer in the pack, up nearly 3.5%.


BSE Auto index fell over 0.5% after reports that automobiles might get costlier, with cars likely to come in the 28% bracket, plus cess. Cummings India was the biggest laggard, down 8.3% while M&M, Maruti, Bharat Forge, Eicher Motors were down in the range of 0.5-1.5%


Among other gainers, State Bank of India (SBI)  moved higher by 3.6% to Rs 314 at intra-day, its highest level since March 4, 2015 on BSE, after the state-owned bank reported a more than doubling of its fourth-quarter net profit as expected, while its bad loan ratio narrowed on a quarter-on-quarter basis. The stock ended 1.6% higher.


Cummins India settled 8% lower after the company reported 5% drop in net profit at Rs 158 crore for the quarter ended March 2017 (Q4FY17), due to unfavorable product mix. It had a profit of Rs 167 crore in the same quarter year ago.


Laurus Labs fell 2% after its PAT for the quarter ended March 31 rose by 39% to Rs 74.3 crore against Rs 53.4 crore during the third quarter of the last fiscal, on the back of low finance cost. The company went public in December last year.


GST Council meet ends


At the end of the 2-day GST council meet, sources said that most of the services would be taxed at the rate of 18% under the GST regime.


Besides, there will be no new addition of services in the exempted list under GST.  The council has also agreed on 18% rate for telecom & financial service. The Council has still not decided the tax for beedi, cigarette, gold while transportation to fall under 5% bracket. GST rate for branded garments at 18% and all hotel services with tariff over Rs 5,000 to be taxed at 28%.


The next meeting of the GST Council will take place on June 3.



Global Markets


Asian stocks were slightly higher on Friday after a sluggish start, while the dollar held most of the gains it made overnight on strong US economic data as some risk appetite returned despite caution over political turbulence in the United States.


European markets were higher on Friday as prices in the US and Asia stabilized after a heavy sell-off in recent sessions. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was trading up 0.46% with almost all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.


MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan reversed earlier losses to gain 0.1%, shrinking its weekly loss to 0.5%.


Japan's Nikkei rallied 0.1%, but remains headed for a 1.8% loss for the week. Australian shares slipped 0.25%, widening weekly losses to almost 2%.


Chinese shares were little changed, up 0.4% for the week. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 0.3%, set for a weekly rise of 0.1%.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel