Economy, Featured

Budget 2019: Sensex, Nifty hold on to gains

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Benchmark equity indices held on to gains Friday morning even as the Budget overshot the fiscal deficit target for the current financial year.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was trading 157.10 points, or 0.43 per cent, higher at 36,413.79. Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 43.25, or 0.40 per cent, to 10,874.20.

Presenting the budget for 2019-20, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said the fiscal deficit for the current financial year is expected to be 3.4 per cent of GDP. As per the Budget estimate, the fiscal deficit for 2018-19 was pegged at 3.3 per cent.

As widely expected, the finance minister announced the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi for small and marginal farmers, providing Rs 6,000 per year to be transferred directly to farmers’ bank accounts.

Top gainers in the Sensex pack included Maruti, Hero MotoCorp, M&M, HUL, HCL Tech, Bajaj Finance, HDFC and L&T, rising up to 3.78 per cent.

Vedanta was the biggest loser on Sensex, cracking over 18 per cent after the metals and mining giant Thursday reported a 25.54 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 1,574 crore for the December 2018 quarter on the back of higher expenses and drop in commodity prices.

Other losers included ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Tata Steel, Infosys and Coal India, falling up to 1.78 per cent.

Sectorally, auto, realty, FMCG and pharma stocks supported the positive momentum in the market.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 3,006.41 crore Thursday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 1,634.32 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.

The rupee, meanwhile, was trading 4 paise lower against US dollar to 71.12.

(PTI)

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