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Markets swing between gains and losses; midcap, smallcap underperform

Pranati Deva / New Delhi 19 May 17 | 02:05 PM

In a volatile trade, Benchmark indices swung between gains and losses in today's trade on selling pressure and political turbulence in the White House.

Earlier in the day, S&P BSE Sensex rose as much as 278 points to reach a fresh high of 30,712, surpassing its previous milestone of 30,691 hit on May 17 as FMCG surged on GST boost. The index has hit a new high for the fourth time in five sessions.

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Government, yesterday, announced rates for more than 1,200 items under the GST, and the outcome had largely benefited the fast-moving consumer goods sector after rates for products like hair oil, soaps and toothpaste were brought down to 18% from 22-24%.

At 2:05 pm, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 30,469, up 34 points, while the broader Nifty50 was ruling at 9,426, down 2 points.

The broader markets underperformed benchmark indices. The S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Smallcap indices erased their intraday gains to slip 1% and 0.9%, respectively.

The NSE index has gained 0.69% so far this week, while the BSE index has risen 1.29%. Both the indexes are on track for a second straight weekly gain.

S&P BSE FMCG index rallied more than 3% to a record high with ITC and Hindustan Unilever rising to their highest ever as well. Colgate Palmolive was the biggest gainer in the pack, up nearly 4%.

BSE Auto index fell nearly 1% after reports that automobiles might get costlier, with cars likely to come in the 28% bracket, plus cess. Cummings India was the biggest laggard, down 7% while M&M, Maruti, Bharat Forge, Eicher Motors were down in the range of 0.5-1.5%

Among other gainers, State Bank of India (SBI)  moved higher by 3.6% to Rs 314, its highest level since March 4, 2015 on BSE, after the state-owned bank reported a better than expected results for the fourth quarter ended March 2017 (Q4FY17). The bank more than doubled its standalone net profit at Rs 2,815 crore in Q4FY17 against Rs 1,264 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.

Bank of Baroda rose as much as 4.5% after the public sector lender reported a net profit of 1.55 billion rupees ($23.92 million) for the March quarter, compared with a net loss in the year-ago period.

Cummins India dipped 10% to Rs 948 in intra-day trade after the company reported 5% drop in net profit at Rs 158 crore for the quarter ended March 2017 (Q4FY17), due to unfavorable product mix. It had a profit of Rs 167 crore in the same quarter year ago.

Asian Paints was the top lsoer on BSE Sensex, down 3.5% after GST rates announced indicate that paints will get costlier post GST is introduced. 

Globally, Asian stocks were slightly higher on Friday after a sluggish start, while the dollar held most of the gains it made overnight on strong US economic data as some risk appetite returned despite caution over political turbulence in the United States. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan reversed earlier losses to gain 0.1%, shrinking its weekly loss to 0.5%.

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