Indian benchmark indices started the week on a negative note, as investors seemed unimpressed by the revised rates on 66 items by the GST Council in its 16th meeting on Sunday and await the macroeconomic data to be released later today. BSE Sensex opened 36.63 points or 0.12% lower at 31,225.43 points, while NSE Nifty, the broader gauge, opened 21.55 points or 0.22% lower at 9,646.70 points. At 9:30 am, BSE Sensex was trading 131.18 points or 0.42% lower at 31,130.88 points while the NSE Nifty was down 36.40 points or 0.38% at 9,631.85 points.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council Sunday revised downward tax rates for 66 items including movie tickets of Rs 100 and below, incense sticks, insulin, school bags, computer printers among others. The tax rate on certain packaged food items like pickles, mustard sauce, murabba, ketchup has been reduced to 12 per cent from the earlier decided 18 per cent, while that on cashew nuts has been cut to 5 per cent from 12 per cent. Relief was also given to small and medium enterprises, with the threshold for composition scheme raised to Rs 75 lakh from the earlier decided level of Rs 50 lakh.
Investors will keenly watch two key economic indicators – IIP data and CPI inflation numbers, which are scheduled for release on Monday. Industrial output growth slipped to 2.7 per cent in March. The index of industrial production (IIP) growth was 5.5 per cent in March 2016. On the other hand, wholesale price-based inflation (WPI) rose 3.85 per cent year-on-year in April.
The US market closed flat on Friday after touching record highs earlier in the trading session. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 113.85 points, or 1.8 percent, to end at 6,207.92. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 89.44 points, or 0.42 percent, to 21,271.97, while the S&P 500 lost 2.02 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,431.77.
Asian markets were trading lower in early trade on Monday. MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index was still shy of a two-year high scaled late last week. Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.5 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi 0.5 per cent. Australian markets were closed for a public holiday, Reuters reported.
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According to latest depository data, FPIs have pulled out Rs 289 crore from equities between June 1-9, while they poured in Rs 11,734 crore in debt markets during the period under review, translating into a net inflow of Rs 11,445 crore (USD 1.77 billion).
Oil prices rose on Friday after supply issues in Nigeria. Brent crude oil settled up 29 cents at USD 48.15 a barrel. US crude futures rose 19 cents to USD 45.83 a barrel. Both benchmarks posted weekly declines of nearly 4 percent.
The Indian rupee slipped 6 paise in opening trade, to 64.30 per dollar from Friday’s close of 64.24. The US dollar rose against a basket of currencies on Friday, helped by a sharp drop in the British pound after Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in national elections, said a Reuters report. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major rivals, was up 0.37 percent at 97.273, after rising to a 10-day high of 97.5 earlier in the session.