Nifty open above 9,200-mark on Friday
The Nifty50 hit a fresh record high on Friday to open above 9,200-mark for the first time ever after the The goods and services tax (GST) council cleared the two supporting Bills – State GST Bill and Union Territory GST (UTGST) Bill – setting the stage for implementing the landmark tax reform by July 01.
The Nifty index rose as much as 64 points to 9,218, surpassing its previous all-time high of 9,158 hit in the previous session. The S&P BSE Sensex, on the other hand, gained as much as 239 points to 29825. The 30-share index is over 200 points away from its lifetime high of 30,025, hit on March 2015.
In the broader market, the BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap indices also hit their respective record highs to gain 0.3% each.
Meanwhile, snapping its four-session long gains, the rupee fell 24 paise to 65.65 against the dollar today as the American currency got some of its lure back among banks and importers.
“Going forward, we would expect the optimism to continue in the market and expect the Nifty to keep marching higher, first towards 9,200 and then towards our near-term target of 9,400-9,600 over the next few weeks. On the downside, yesterday’s gap area of 9,107-9,129 would act as a strong support zone,” said Angel Broking in a technical note.
ITC stock was the top gainer on Sensex and Nifty both and added over 7% to Rs 288 after the GST Council capped the cess on tobacco and cigarettes at 290% or Rs 4,170 per 1,000 cigarette sticks.
Other cigarette stocks such as Godfrey Phillips, VST Industries and Golden Tobacco also rallied up to 5% on the BSE.
Shares of MTNL surged over 5% to Rs 26 on news reports that a Parliamentary panel has suggested merger of state-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL for their long-term survival.
Shares of Nocil gained 3% to Rs 88 after the specialty chemical company said the board of directors has approved expansion of capacities of rubber chemicals and their intermediates at the company’s plants situated at Navi Mumbai and Dahej.
One Nation One Tax
The GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising representatives of all States, at its Thursday’s meeting approved the final draft of Central GST (C-GST) and Integrated GST (I-GST) laws.
Supporting GST laws would now be taken to the Cabinet and then to the Parliament for approval, Jaitley said after the Council meeting. For the purpose of empowerment, cap of cess on demerit goods on top of peak rate of GST has been kept at 15%, he added.
The GST Council would meet on March 31 for framing of rules for Goods and Service Tax regime, Jaitley said.
Donald Trump’s Budget ouline
Conservatives have plenty to like in the White House plan, with its 10% increase in military spending next year and beefed-up funding to help deport more illegal immigrants and build a wall on the border with Mexico.
President Donald Trump’s first budget outline, calling for a security-heavy realignment of federal spending, drew resistance on Thursday from his fellow Republicans in the US Congress as many balked at proposed deep cuts to diplomatic and foreign aid programs.
Asian stocks crawled higher in early trade on Friday, set for its best week since September, while the dollar continued the slide that began after the Federal Reserve indicated it was unlikely to speed up monetary tightening.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1%, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.4%. MSCI’s all-country world stock index, which hit an all-time high on Thursday, was little changed. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.3%.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six trade-weighted peers, retreated 0.1% to 100.26. It hit a five-week low on Thursday, and is down almost 1% for the week.