Markets surge on GST hopes, foreign funds (Market review)

Mumbai: Indian equity markets were buoyed by positive anticipation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill clearing parliament, supported by a perceptible inflow of foreign funds, and continued to accumulate profits during the week ended Friday. The two key equity indices -- the sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE and the Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) -- gained around one per cent each, even though they ended in the red on the last day of trade. The 30-scrip Sensex made significant gains during the week as it surged 248.62 points or 0.89 per cent to 28,051.86 points. The wider 51-scrip NSE Nifty also closed higher. It rose to 8,638.50 points -- up 97.30 points or 1.14 per cent. "Buoyed by positive developments in parliament with regard to the passage of the GST bill, participants turned buyers in the market," Brijesh Ved, Senior Portfolio Manager, BNP Paribas AMC, said. "The current rally in the Indian markets seems to be largely fuelled by liquidity and buying by foreign investors." The benchmark indices started off the trading week on a higher note, keeping an eye on the progress of the GST bill issue in parliament. The government's decision to drop the proposal for one per cent additional manufacturing tax on inter-state sales increased the chances of GST getting passed, which boosted investors' sentiments. On the global front, the markets traded higher after Japan unveiled a huge stimulus package to spur its economy.  "Global cues were also positive owing to the expectation of stimulus by global central banks, including BoJ (Bank of Japan)," Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas, said. Similarly, the US Fed's recent decision at the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meet to keep rates unchanged also supported the bulls. However, negative bias was partly infused after the BoJ decided to increase purchases of ETFs (exchange traded funds), but kept interest rates steady on Friday. Moreover, the Indian markets traded with blended sentiments during the week on the back of July derivatives expiry. The positive momentum noticed in the markets was mostly due to sustained foreign fund inflows and on optimism that global central banks will remain supportive of growth. According to Pankaj Sharma, Head of Equities, Equirus Securities, almost 70 per cent of net purchasing by FIIs in calendar year 2016 has happened in July.  "Net buying from foreign investors has picked up sharply in July in local markets," Sharma said.  "Though it had became more subdued in May-June after strong interest in March-April, there is strong revival in foreigners' buying interest this month." The week witnessed a hefty influx of foreign funds. Provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that FIIs purchased stocks worth Rs 3,719.63 crore. Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) showed that foreign portfolio investors were net buyers of equities worth Rs 4,454.35 crore, or $663.05 million, from July 25-29. Despite the healthy influx of foreign funds, the equity markets fell prey to profit booking towards the end of the week as investors consolidated gains. Nevertheless, the healthy progress of the monsoon season and a recovering rupee managed to support prices at lower levels. On a weekly basis, the currency strengthened to 67.02 against a US dollar from its previous close of 67.08 on July 22. In terms of indices, the midcap index outperformed with a gain of 2.4 per cent, followed by a 1.5 per cent gain in the smallcap index.  "The large cap also followed the trend with 1.4 per cent gains led by better Q1 results of index heavyweights in the consumer durables, banking and auto sectors," Nair added. Among the individual Sensex stocks, Maruti Suzuki was the top gainer (up 7.74 per cent at Rs 4,755.20), followed by Asian Paints (up 6.64 per cent at Rs 1,114.70), Power Grid (up 5.42 per cent at Rs 175.90), Sun Pharmaceuticals (up 5.33 per cent at Rs 829.75) and Tata Consultancy Services (up 4.36 per cent at Rs 2,618.55). The losers were led by Dr. Reddy's Lab (down 18.53 per cent at Rs 2,937.25), Tata Steel (down 2.89 per cent at Rs 354.75), Gail (down 2.54 per cent at Rs 385), Hero MotoCorp (down 1.65 per cent at Rs 3,206.45) and Bharti Airtel (down 1.50 per cent at Rs 362.05). IANS