Global stock markets remained closed on Saturday. However, the Indian markets were open on account of announcement of the Union Budget 2015. The Indian stock markets had a volatile session today. After a strong opening, markets pared gains and slipped in negative territory after no big ticket announcements were made. However, the indices were able to regain lost ground and close in the green by the end of the day. The sectoral indices ended mixed. While stocks from FMCG and power were the biggest losers, banking and pharma stocks ended the day as major gainers.
BSE-Sensex has ended higher by about 141 points (up 0.48%), while the NSE-Nifty has ended up by about 57 points (up 0.65%). The BSE Mid Cap has closed the day marginally down and BSE Small Cap has closed lower by 0.47%.
With an aim to reduce gold imports and monetize gold stocks, the Union Budget has proposed a Gold Monetisation Scheme that will replace the present gold deposit and gold metal loan schemes. Under the scheme, the depositors will earn interest in their metal accounts whereas jewelers can obtain loans in their metal account. To curb the purchase of metal gold, a sovereign gold bond has been proposed. The bonds will carry a fixed rate of interest and will be redeemable in cash in terms of the face value of gold. Additionally, it has also been proposed to develop Indian gold coins to reduce the demand of coins minted outside the country and aid in recycling the gold available in the country.
Majority of the food & tobacco stocks are trading in the red with ITC and Godfrey Phillips being the major losers. In the Union Budget 2015, the excise duty on cigarettes has been raised for the fourth year in a row. While the excise duty on cigarettes of length not exceeding 65 mm (micro segment) has been increased by 25%, the duty on the other cigarette segments has been increased by 15%. The excise duty on cigars, cheroots and cigarillos has been raised by the same amount. While cigarette companies were able to pass on the duty hikes earlier, the continuous price increases are beginning to impact their offtake.