Recovering from day’s low, Indian equity indices were holding their head above water and trading up with gain of around 0.20%, on emergence of buying by funds and retail investors in frontline blue-chip stocks. Sentiments remained upbeat with the report that GST Council on Saturday approved a law to compensate states for any loss of revenue from the implementation of the new national sales tax but deferred approval for enabling laws to the next meeting. The council will meet again on March 4 and 5 to approve the legally vetted draft of the supporting legislations for Central GST (C-GST) and Integrated GST (I- GST), days before the start of the second leg of the Budget Session. Some support also came with the report that overseas investment in India is likely to surge to a record in the year ending March despite temporary growth hiccups ascribed to the currency swap programme. India’s FDI in the April-December period rose 22% to $35.8 billion from the year earlier. With three months to go for the fiscal year end, the government expects fresh inflows into equity to top the $40 billion India got in FY16. Meanwhile, Sugars stocks came into limelight after the report that India's sugar deficit increased to 15% as on February 15 from 10% on January 31, as sugarcane crushing season in Karnataka has almost come to an end, while that of Maharashtra is at its fag end. Furthermore, some banking stocks gained traction on the report that once the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill is passed, the sale of bad loans to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) could improve substantially to 30-35 per cent of the loans put on the block by banks and financial institutions from the current 10-15 per cent.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly higher on Monday, though political uncertainty globally kept the mood cautious, while the U.S. dollar recouped early losses ahead of a busy week for Federal Reserve speakers. Hong Kong market was trading higher, after breaking its winning streak on Friday. The country will see January figures for unemployment later today; in December, the jobless rate was 3.3%. Yields on sovereign bonds fell in Asia trading, while oil was stable after a two-day advance.
Back home, all BSE sectoral indices were trading in the green. Among them, Telecom index gained the most by 1.79 percent, followed by Metal 1.24 percent, Basic Materials 1.12 percent and Realty 1.09 percent. In scrip specific development, Deepak Fertilisers & Petrochemicals Corporation surged after the company started commercial production of its new grades of NPK fertilisers under its flagship brand Mahadhan. Furthermore, Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) gained after the company inked two pacts with Jharkhand utilities for providing financial assistance of Rs 15,150 crore.
The market breadth remained optimistic, as there were 1595 shares on the gaining side against 815 shares on the losing side, while 151 shares remained unchanged.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 28517.01, up by 48.26 points or 0.17% after trading in a range of 28419.27 and 28530.34. There were 18 stocks advancing against 11 stocks declining on the index, while one stock remained unchanged.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.64%, while Small cap index up by 0.74%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Telecom up by 1.79%, Metal up by 1.24%, Basic Materials up by 1.12%, Realty up by 1.09% and Consumer Durables up by 0.87%, while there were no losers on BSE sectoral front.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Tata Steel up by 2.14%, Bharti Airtel up by 2.06%, GAIL India up by 1.64%, TCS up by 1.59% and Hindustan Unilever up by 1.13%. On the flip side, Mahindra & Mahindra down by 0.71%, ITC down by 0.71%, HDFC down by 0.70%, Axis Bank down by 0.41% and Tata Motors down by 0.36% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, moving swiftly on the road to formalizing the biggest reform of the indirect tax regime, the GST council at its 10th meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising of representatives of all states and union territories, has cleared the Compensation Law that will legally provide for the Centre making up for any loss of revenue to states in first five years of rollout of Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime. The all-powerful GST council also cleared the final drafting of the anti-profiteering clause to ensure benefit of lower taxes gets shared with consumers.
Arun Jaitley said that the council will meet again on March 4 and 5 to finalise crucial draft laws pertaining largely to Central GST (CGST), Integrated GST (IGST) and State GST (SGST), days before the start of the second leg of the Budget Session where the Centre is hoping to get them approved. The Minister also said that after laws are finalized, the council will get down to fixing rates of taxes for different goods and services by fitting them into the four approved slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent.
Meanwhile, the government is planning to introduce the model GST law in Parliament in the second half of the Budget Session beginning next month. The government is keen to roll out the new regime from July 1 but for that, it will have to get two laws that are the Central GST (CGST) Act and Integrated GST (IGST) Act approved by Parliament and each of the state legislatives have to pass the State GST (SGST) Act. GST, which will replace a plethora of central and state taxes, is a consumption based tax levied on sale, manufacture and consumption on goods and services at a national level.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 8839.85, up by 18.15 points or 0.21% after trading in a range of 8809.80 and 8841.55. There were 33 stocks advancing against 18 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Idea Cellular up by 3.40%, Tata Steel up by 2.26%, Bharti Airtel up by 2.06%, TCS up by 1.86% and Tata Power up by 1.84%. On the flip side, Bosch down by 0.89%, Yes Bank down by 0.83%, HDFC down by 0.79%, Tech Mahindra down by 0.74% and Mahindra & Mahindra down by 0.69% were the top losers.
Asian markets were trading mostly in green; KOSPI Index rose 0.12%, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI gained 0.24%, Jakarta Composite increased 0.3%, Shanghai Composite surged 0.72%, Nikkei 225 added 0.16% and Hang Seng was up by 0.39%.
On the flip side, Taiwan Weighted was down by 0.27%.