Private sector bank stocks and index heavyweight ITC led small losses for key benchmark indices in a lacklustre trading session. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex fell 72.64 points or 0.26% at 27,978.24, as per the provisional closing data. The Nifty 50 index lost 22.80 points or 0.26% at 8,655.10, as per the provisional closing data. The Sensex provisionally settled below the psychologically important 28,000 level after alternately swinging above and below that level in intraday trade.
The Sensex lost 124.71 points or 0.44% at the day's low of 27,926.17 in afternoon trade. The barometer index rose 80.19 points or 0.28% at the day's high of 28,131.07 in early trade, its highest level since 10 October 2016. The Nifty lost 41.20 points or 0.47% at the day's low of 8,636.70 in afternoon trade. The index rose 20.85 points or 0.24% at the day's high of 8,698.75 in early trade, its highest level since 10 October 2016.
In overseas stock markets, European stocks were mixed. Most Asian stocks edged higher tracking overnight gains in US stock markets. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite ended higher by 0.03%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng ended 0.38% lower. Latest data showed that China's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 6.7% in the third quarter from a year earlier. Another data showed that China's industrial output increased 6.1% in September 2016, from a year earlier. US stocks registered modest gains yesterday, 18 October 2016, helped by stronger-than-expected quarterly reports and after mixed inflation data.
Closer home, the market breadth indicating overall health of the market was positive. On BSE, 1,636 shares rose and 1,176 shares declined. A total of 205 shares were unchanged. The BSE Mid-Cap index provisionally rose 0.01%. The BSE Small-Cap index provisionally rose 0.48%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.
The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 3940.14 crore, higher than turnover of Rs 3703.61 crore registered during the previous trading session.
Index heavyweight and cigarette major ITC lost 2.56% at Rs 239.50 on reports that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is pondering over having multiple tax slabs for GST along with a 'sin' cess on demerit goods such as tobacco and luxury products. The company currently pays 25% value-added tax (VAT) and 40% excise duty. After GST, ITC may have to pay 26% GST along with 'sin' cess, reports suggested.
Capital goods stocks were mixed. GE T&D India (down 0.85%), Thermax (down 1.58%), Bharat Electronics (down 0.77%), L&T (down 0.17%), Siemens (down 0.29%) and BEML (down 0.4%) edged lower. Crompton Greaves (up 0.46%), ABB India (up 0.28%), Suzlon Energy (up 2.99%) and Praj Industries (up 2.35%) edged higher.
Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) rose 3.42% at Rs 140.80 on reports the Supreme Court allowed appeal against Madras High Court's stay over construction of Ennore SEZ supercritical thermal power project. Bhel had won a contract in October 2014 worth Rs 7800 crore from Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) for setting up 2X660 megawatt (MW) thermal power plant on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis at Ennore SEZ. However, the contract was challenged by a rival consortium.
Havells India edged lower as the company's Q2 September 2016 net profit was boosted by other income. The stock was down 4.71% at Rs 410.85. The company's net profit rose 21.97% to Rs 145.79 crore on 9.8% rise in total income to Rs 1477.54 crore in Q2 September 2016 over Q2 September 2015. The net profit was boosted by 158.16% surge in other income to Rs 25.30 crore in Q2 September 2016 over Q2 September 2015. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 18 October 2016.
Meanwhile, reports suggested that a four-tier structure for Goods and Services Tax (GST) comprising a lower rate of 6%, two standard rates of 12% and 18%, and a higher rate of 26% with an additional cess for luxury and demerit goods were proposed in the third meeting of GST Council held yesterday, 18 October 2016. The higher rate for services under the indirect tax regime is proposed to be 18%, while essential services such as transportation are proposed to be taxed at 6% or 12%, as per reports.
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