Sensex hits new high; Nifty at highest level since February 01
New Delhi :Benchmark indices ended higher on Monday lifted by consumer stocks such as index heavyweight ITC, after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council cut tax rates on scores of items while keeping the cess on cigarettes unchanged during its weekend meeting. The S&P BSE Sensex ended at a record high of 36,719, up 222 points. The index had hit an intra-day high of 36,749.69. The broader Nifty50 index settled at 11,085, up 75 points. Among sectoral indices, the Nifty FMCG index gained nearly 2.5%, led by a rise in the share prices of Godrej Consumer Products and ITC. The Nifty PSU Bank index also ended 2.4% higher led by Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank. Shares of paint, consumer durables and footwear companies have rallied by up to 10 per cent on the BSE, after the GST Council on Saturday reduced tax rates from 28 per cent to 18 per cent on a range of daily use products and appliances. Among items on which GST was reduced include footwear, small televisions, water heater, electric ironing machines, refrigerators, lithium ion batteries, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, food appliances and ethanol. Among key results, Asian Paints, Bharti Infratel, Hero MotoCorp, Larsen & Toubro, Maruti Suzuki, Bharti Airtel, ITC, HCL Technologies and Reliance Industries are likely to announce their June 2018 quarter earnings later this week. Asian shares dipped on Monday while the dollar fell after US President Donald Trump criticised the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and amid reports Japan’s central bank could wind back its massive fund purchases. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2 per cent on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei stumbled 1.3 per cent while South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.8 per cent. Oil prices fell on Monday because of increasing concerns about fuel demand after finance ministers and central bank governors from the G20 warned that global economic growth risks have increased amid rising trade and geopolitical tensions. Brent crude dropped 10 cents, or 0.1 per cent, to $72.97 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures declined 8 cents, or 0.1 per cent, to $68.18 a barrel.