The benchmark BSE Sensex rallied to a new lifetime high of 36,749.69 on Monday, on the back of strong gains in banking and FMCG stocks after the GST Council reduced rates on a number of products. The 30-share index finally settled higher by 222.23 points or 0.61 per cent at 36,718.60, its record closing level, even as Asian markets were mixed amid growing fears of trade and currency wars.
The Sensex opened higher at 36,501.05 and gathered momentum on massive buying to hit an all-time intra-day high of 36,749.69 as FMCG major ITC, Hindustan Unilever and Asian Paints rallied. Strong gains in Vedanta Ltd, Adani Ports, Bharti Airtel and Maruti Suzuki also helped the index touch record levels. The BSE barometer bettered previous intra-day high of 36,747.87 hit on July 18. Also, it surpassed previous record closing of 36,548.41 reached on July 12.
Also, the broad-based NSE Nifty closed higher 74.55 points, or 0.68 per cent at 11,084.75, its highest closing since January 29 when it ended at 11,130.40. During intra-day, it moved between 11,093.40 and 11,010.95.
"Reducing GST rates and positive cues from ongoing result season supported the market," Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd, said. "Consumption-oriented sector inched higher in expectation of improvement in margin and volume growth on account of lower GST rates. Subsequently, inflation is likely to moderate which will refrain RBI from further tightening," he added.
Banking stocks ICICI Bank, SBI, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra rose after lenders entered into a pact with financial institutions to fast-track resolution of stressed assets of Rs 50 crore or more which are under consortium lending.
Brokers said trading sentiment was also upbeat after the no-confidence motion was comfortably defeated in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
Vedanta Ltd hogged the limelight by surging 4.42 per cent, followed by Adani Ports at 3.83 per cent.
Among other gainers, ITC Ltd rose by 3.80 per cent, Bharti Airtel by 3.49 per cent, ICICI Bank by 3.33 per cent Maruti Suzuki by 3.31 per cent and Tata Steel by 2.66 per cent.
SBI rose by 2.09 per cent, IndusInd Bank by 1.92 per cent, Tata Motors by 1.91 per cent, HUL by 1.84 per cent, NTPC by 1.61 per cent, Axis Bank by 0.85 per cent, L&T by 0.80 per cent, Infosys by 0.55 per cent, TCS by 0.46 per cent, Power Grid by 0.43 per cent and Sun Pharma by 0.27 per cent.
Stocks of paint makers too turned buyers' fancy after the GST Council lowered the indirect tax slab on paints and varnishes form 28 per cent to 18 per cent. Asian Paints ended 2.63 per cent higher, while Shalimar Paints rose 4.09 per cent. Kansai Nerolac Paints too gained 2.85 per cent and Berger Paint 1.63 per cent.
Shares of UPL (earlier known as United Phosphates) climbed 14.79 per cent after the agrochemicals company on Friday announced the acquisition of Arysta Life Inc for USD 4.2 billion.
The stock of shoemaker Bata India surged 6.96, Liberty Shoes soared 10.35 per cent, while Mirza International shot up 4.40 per cent on tax incentives announced by the GST Council on Saturday.
Sectorwise, the BSE telecom surged 2.47 per cent, FMCG 2.29 per cent, realty 1.90 per cent, metal 1.62 per cent, power 1.48 per cent, consumer durables 1.30 per cent, capital goods 1.22 per cent, infrastructure 1.14 per cent, bankex 0.98 per cent, PSU 0.87 per cent, healthcare 0.72 per cent, teck 0.40 per cent and IT 0.12 per cent.
The broader markets too were in a better form with the mid-cap index rising 1.29 per cent, while small-cap index up 0.93 per cent.
The US dollar continued its slide against global currencies after the US President Donald Trump flayed currency policies of Washington's main trading partners.
Globally, European markets were down in an early trade with Frankfurt's DAX losing 1.51 per cent and Paris CAC 0.94 per cent. London's FTSE too fell 0.37 per cent. Earlier, in the Asian region, Japan's Nikkei fell 1.33 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was flat on fears of an all-out trade and currency war.
The GST Council on Saturday cut rates on over 100 items, including footwear, refrigerator, washing machine and small screen TV, while exempting the widely demanded sanitary napkins from the levy. The revised tax rates will come into effect from 27 July.
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Updated Date: Jul 23, 2018 18:27:56 IST