India shares post second week of gains on earnings, new tax rates
MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Indian shares recorded their second straight weekly gains after ending little changed on Friday, as better-than-expected corporate earnings and lower rates proposed for several consumer products under a new tax regime helped boost demand.
The benchmark BSE Sensex ended up 0.1%, or 30.13 points, to 30,464.92 on Friday, while the broader NSE Nifty 50 ended 0.02% lower, or 1.55 points, at 9,427.90. Both the indices hit a record high in early trade, driven by gains in consumer stocks after a government panel tasked to look at tax rates under the Goods and Services Tax - likely to be rolled out from July 1 - set rates on most consumption-related goods at lower than current levels.
For the week, the indices rose 0.9% and 0.3%, respectively. Tata Steel led the weekly advances, with an almost 12% surge after reporting strong January-March operational earnings. The company ended a long-standing pension standoff in the U.K.
However, on Friday, uncertainty over the U.S. President Donald Trump's economic agenda following his reported interference with a federal investigation forced investors to take profits on intraday gains, dealers said.
"Positivity over GST rates agreement got lost in the global tremors over the U.S. political uncertainty," said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services. "With currencies remaining volatile and with the monthly derivatives expiry approaching, investors chose to lock in gains on the last working day of the week."
Sixteen of the 30 Sensex constituents ended higher, while overall declining issues beat advancing ones 1,789 to 957 and 165 stocks were unchanged.
State Bank of India, the country's biggest lender by assets, rose 1.7% to 308.15 rupees on Friday and added about 4% for the week, after posting a 123% increase in on-year in net profit for the quarter ended Mar.31.
Smaller rival Bank of Baroda, a constituent of the Nifty, rose 0.4% to 188.55 rupees on Friday and 1.1% for the week. Late Thursday, the state-owned lender announced a net profit of 1.55 billion rupees ($24 million) for the quarter ended Mar.31 against a loss of 32.3 billion rupees a year earlier.
Tata Consultancy Services, India's largest software services exporter, jumped 5.8% for the week, aided by a falling rupee. On Friday, the stock ended down 1.1% to close at 2,506.80 rupees.
Shares of fast-moving consumer goods makers outperformed the broader market with the BSE gauge for the sector rising 1.8% after the GST Council decided on tax rates between 5%-18% for goods including hair oil, soap, toothpaste, edible oil, tea and coffee.
ITC, which has among the biggest weight in the Sensex, advanced 2.8% to 285.90 rupees, adding 4.4% for the week. Consumer goods maker Hindustan Unilever also ended 2% higher at 1,007.55 rupees. It was up 3% for the week.
Dabur India rose 1.1% to 275.50 rupees and Godrej Consumer Products gained 1.5% at 1,808.70 rupees on Friday.
Energy companies were among the top losers for the week. Reliance Industries, India's biggest private company by revenue, fell 2.4%, while state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corp. declined 2.6%, hurt by the recent decline in global crude oil prices. On Friday, Reliance lost 0.6% to close at 1,318.50 rupees, while ONGC finished 0.5% lower at 180 rupees.
For the week, China's Shanghai Composite index advanced 0.2% while Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.5%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index and South Korea's Kospi index ended 0.1% higher each.
--Dhanya Ann Thoppil