Sensex, Nifty inch up as consumer stocks rally; ITC leads

Indian shares edged higher on Monday, with consumer stocks such as ITC Ltd leading, as investor sentiment got a boost after the government last week finalised rates for the upcoming goods and services tax.

Indian shares edged higher on Monday, with consumer stocks such as ITC Ltd leading, as investor sentiment got a boost after the government last week finalised rates for the upcoming goods and services tax. The government on Friday unveiled four rate bands under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for services in line with those applying to goods, a big departure from the current single rate of 15 percent applied on most services.

“Consumer stocks are gaining on the back of GST tax rates, which have been broadly in favour of FMCG stocks,” said Dharmesh Kant, head of Retail Research at Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd.  The broader NSE index was up 0.29 percent at 9,455.70 as of 0602 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index rose 0.42 percent at 30,592.06.

The NSE FMCG index gained as much as 2.9 percent to a record high. ITC Ltd rose as much as 4.8 percent to an all-time high, while Hindustan Unilever Ltd gained 2 percent.

Renewable energy co Suzlon Energy Ltd surged as much as 8 percent to its highest since Jan 6, 2016 after the company posted a March-quarter consolidated net profit compared with loss a year earlier.

Tata Power, down as much as 4.3 percent at its lowest since February, was among the top losers on the NSE index. The company reported a lower-than-expected March-quarter consolidated net profit on Friday.

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