Q1 earnings, GST cuts lift equity indices to fresh benchmarks (Market Review)

NSEBy Rituraj Baruah,

Mumbai : With healthy quarterly earnings, tax-rate cuts on over 50 consumer items, domestic investor sentiments firmed up in the week ended Friday making the equity indices set new records and benchmarks every other day.

On Friday, both the S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 settled at their respective highest closing levels of 37,336.85 points and 11,278.35 points after touching intra-day records of 37,368.62 points and 11,283.40 points earlier in the day.

According to market observers, appreciation in the Indian rupee and progress in the southwest monsoon rains also added to the enthusiasm in the market.

On a weekly basis, Sensex closed at 37,336.85 points — up 840.48 points or 2.30 per cent from the previous close.

The wider Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) settled at 11,278.35 points, higher by 268.15 points or 2.44 per cent — from its previous week’s close.

Market breadth was positive in all the five trading sessions of the week, according to Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

“Traders and investors were happy about a good start to the earnings session and GST tax rate cuts,” said Prateek Jain, Director of Hem Securities.

Kotak Mutual Fund’s Senior Vice President and Head of Equity Research, Shibani Kurian said the investor sentiments were also boosted by the reduction in tax rates of many consumer items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.

The GST (Goods and Services Tax) council on July 21 in its 28th meeting decided to lower tax rates on several consumer items.

The progress of the South-West monsoons picked up pace, which further improved the sentiments, Kurian told IANS.

On the currency front, the rupee closed at 68.66 on Friday, strengthening by 19 paise from its previous week’s close of 68.85 per greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought scrip worth Rs 2,539.58 crore, while the domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 1,573.68 crore in the week bygone.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) invested Rs 3,154.23 crore, or $459.02 million from the equities segment on stock exchanges during the week ended on July 27.

Sector-wise, top gainers were public sector banks, metals, FMCG and realty indices while the IT index was the only loser during the week, Jasani told IANS.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were ITC (up 10.51 per cent at Rs 302.20); ICICI Bank (up 10.26 per cent at Rs 293.30); State Bank of India (up 9.83 per cent at Rs 286.60); Tata Steel (up 9.14 per cent at Rs 549.45); and Vedanta (up 8.49 per cent at Rs 219.80 per share).

The major losers were Bajaj Auto (down 5.74 per cent at Rs 2,678.05); Hero MotoCorp (down 5.32 per cent at Rs 3,193.80); Yes Bank (down 4.33 per cent at Rs 369.90); Wipro (down 3.02 per cent at Rs 274.50); and Tata Consultancy Services (down 2.65 per cent at Rs 1,943.10 per share).

(Rituraj Baruah can be contacted at


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