Key benchmark indices trimmed gains in mid-morning trade after hitting fresh intraday high in morning trade. At 11:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 79.67 points or 0.26% at 30,514.46. The Nifty 50 index was up 25.35 points or 0.27% at 9,454.80. Reports indicating that the GST Council has finalised rates for most items boosted sentiment.
Domestic stocks saw a gap-up opening boosted by reports that the goods and services tax (GST) Council has finalised rates for around 1,150 items of the total of 1,211 and has backed the 1 July 2017 deadline for rolling out the unified indirect tax. Key benchmark indices extended early gains and hit fresh intraday high in morning trade.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1,367 shares rose and 974 shares fell. A total of 110 shares were unchanged.
Grasim Industries was up 1.42% ahead of its Q4 March 2017 results today, 19 May 2017. Grasim has exposure to the cement sector through its holding in UltraTech Cement.
Realty stocks gained. DLF (up 1.2%), Indiabulls Real Estate (up 2.11%), Housing Development and Infrastructure (up 1.16%), Unitech (up 0.69%), Sobha (up 0.15%), Prestige Estates Projects (up 2.87%), Oberoi Realty (up 0.71%) and Parsvnath Developers (up 0.13%) rose. D B Realty (down 0.43%) and Godrej Properties (down 0.27%) fell.
Automotive Axles jumped 6.96% after net profit spurted 58.9% to Rs 17.27 crore on 12.6% increase in net sales to Rs 351.09 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 18 May 2017.
V I P Industries rose 3.26% after consolidated net profit rose 46.44% to Rs 18.92 crore on 11.73% increase in net sales to Rs 306.60 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 18 May 2017.
Meanwhile, the goods and services tax (GST) Council yesterday, 18 May 2017 reportedly backed the 1 July 2017 deadline for rolling out the unified indirect tax that will help create a single national market, and ensured that items of mass consumption bear the least tax burden. The GST Council has yesterday, 18 May 2017, the first day of a two-day GST Council meeting reportedly finalised rates for around 1,150 items of the total of 1,211, The rates for remaining goods and all services will be discussed and finalised today, 19 May 2017, reports indicated.
Items such as cereals, which were taxed earlier at 5%, will now be zero-rated. Coffee, sugar, tea and edible oil will attract a lower GST rate of 5%. Capital goods, a key asset for the manufacturing sector, will be taxed at 28%. Several daily-use items such as hair oil, toothpaste and soap have been kept in the 18%-slab instead of at 28%. Tax incidence on cars will remain the same. Motorcycles above 350cc engine capacity will face a cess of 3%. The rates for gold, beedi, cigarette, agricultural implements, footwear, textiles and biodiesel have not been decided yet. The reduction in the tax incidence is likely to ease inflation. Rates on services have not been finalised yet.
The GST Council had finalised a four-tier rate structure of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%, with an additional levy or cess on demerit goods, which will fall under the highest tax slab. On 7 April 2017, it passed the five GST bills - Central GST, State GST, Integrated GST, Compensation Bill and the Union Territories GST.
Overseas, Asian stocks were trading mixed as investors were cautious due to uncertainties surrounding US President Donald Trump after reports he tried to influence a federal investigation.
US stocks closed higher yesterday, 18 May 2017 following the previous session's brutal selloff, as positive data offered a glimmer of optimism and technology provided an additional fillip to the market.
Investors were still watching Washington closely after reports the US President tried to interfere with an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's ties with Russia. In one recent development, former FBI head Robert Mueller has now been named as special counsel to investigate potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
US economic data released yesterday, 18 May 2017 showed that initial jobless claims fell by 4,000 in the latest week, the second-lowest reading of the economic recovery, which began eight years ago. Continuing claims were at their lowest level since 1988. Separately, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index jumped to a reading of 38.8 in May from 22 in April.
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