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A positive end to the week
Fri, 31 Jul Closing

Indian equity markets surged 1.5% in today's' market on the back of encouraging Q1 earnings by some blue chip firms and yesterday's Cabinet approval for amendments to the GST bill. While the BSE-Sensex today closed higher by 410 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 111 points. The S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Smallcap also did well and notched gains of 1% each. Barring oil and gas and power sector, all the sectoral indices were trading in green with Realty and healthcare stocks leading the gains.

Asian stock markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.56% and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.3%. The Shanghai Composite was down yet again and lost 1.13%. European shares advanced for a fourth straight session to a one-week high. The rupee was trading at 64.00 against the US$ at the time of writing.

FMCG stocks outperformed today. Godrej Consumer and ITC were among the leading gainers. According to a leading financial daily, ITC, a cigarettes-to-hotel-to-FMCG major, will be investing Rs 35 bn in West Bengal. The investment comes across various projects - hotels, IT centre, and manufacturing facilities - that the company has already proposed. Around Rs 10 bn will be spent in the second luxury hotel that is coming up at Kolkata in West Bengal. Construction work for the hotel has already begun. The other projects that the company has announced includes setting up of a IT facility - Infotech Centre, and two consumer goods manufacturing facilities - one each at Uluberia (Howrah) and Panchla (Howrah). ITC has business interests in cigarettes, hotels, paperboards and specialty papers, packaging, agri-business, packaged foods and confectionery, personal care, stationery and other FMCG products.

Paint stocks were in demand today with Asian Paints and Akzo Nobel being the biggest winners. Shares of Kansai Nerolac surged over 2% after it was reported that the company has received its board's approval to set up a paint manufacturing unit at Goindwal Sahib near Amritsar in Punjab having capacity of 38,000 MT per year, which is expandable in phases, at an estimated cost of Rs 1.8 bn. The board also approved a proposal to set up a global R & D centre at Vashi, Navi Mumbai, at an estimated cost of Rs 400 m. It is to be noted that Kansai Nerolac Paints is the largest industrial paint and second largest decorative paint company of India based in Mumbai. It is a subsidiary of Kansai Paint of Japan.

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