Buying in select blue-chip counters such as Asian Paints, Nestle India, Hindustan Unilver (HUL), and Bajaj Auto helped benchmark indices to settle in the green on Monday. However, the broader market trend was cautious as Budget proposals fell short of market expectations and, hence failed to revive animal spirits.
Market breadth remained in favour of declines as out of 2,645 companies traded on the BSE, 966 advanced and 1,495 declined while 184 remained unchanged.
ITC continued to bleed for the second consecutive day on Monday, after the Finance Minister, while presenting Union Budget 2020-21 on Saturday, proposed to increase the National Calamity Contingency Duty (NCCD) on cigarettes, hookah, chewing tobacco, snuff and tobacco extracts and essence. The stock hit its fresh 52-week low today.
On the other hand, shares of multinational companies (MNCs) were in focus with Nifty MNC index gaining more than 2 per cent on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) after the government abolished the Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) from company level and said it will now be taxed in hands of recipients. Among individual stocks, Nestle India hit a new high of Rs 16,279, up 5 per cent today. Hindustan Unilever (HUL) surged 5 per cent to Rs 2,180 on the NSE.
Godrej Properties zoomed 10 per cent after the company’s consolidated profit before tax (PBT) in December quarter (Q3FY20) more-than-doubled at Rs 88 crore, on the back of strong operational performance. The stock ended at Rs 1,071 apiece on the BSE, up over 8 per cent.
Globally, world shares sank to their lowest in seven weeks, dragged down by a plunge in Asian stocks on their first trading day after a long break on fears the coronavirus epidemic would hit demand in China. Japan’s Nikkei dived 1 per cent to the lowest since November and Australia’s benchmark index ended 1.3 per cent lower.
In commodities, oil prices extended declines, dragged down by worries about lower demand in the world’s largest oil importer China following the coronavirus breakout.