Sensex skyrockets 2,315 pts as pro-growth Budget unleashes animal spirits

PTI, Feb 1, 2021, 5:33 PM IST

Mumbai: Markets roared back to life on Monday after six days of deep declines as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented an expansionary Union Budget for 2021-22 which sought to pull the economy out of the pandemic-induced slump through increased spending on infrastructure, healthcare and farm sectors without resorting to higher taxation.

The 30-share BSE Sensex zoomed 2,314.84 points or 5 per cent to finish at 48,600.61. This was its second-biggest single-day jump in absolute terms and the best day in almost 10 months.

On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty soared 646.60 points or 4.74 per cent to finish at 14,281.20.

The benchmarks were propelled by across-the-board buying, with banking and finance stocks leading the charge.

IndusInd Bank topped the Sensex gainers’ chart with a jump of 14.75 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank, Bajaj Finserv, SBI, L&T and HDFC.

Only three index components closed in the red – Dr Reddy’s, Tech Mahindra and HUL, shedding up to 3.70 per cent.

Tabling the Budget for 2021-22 in Parliament, the finance minister proposed more than doubling healthcare spending, enhancing capital expenditure to Rs 5.54 lakh crore and introduced an agri infra cess of up to 100 per cent on some goods to create post-harvest infrastructure for improving farmers’ income.

But to reduce the burden on consumers, the customs or import duty on these items was cut.

A cess of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel was also slapped but this was offset by a reduction of an equivalent amount in the excise duty – making it price neutral for consumers.

The government projected a fiscal deficit of 9.5 per cent of the GDP for the current fiscal, hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and 6.8 per cent in 2021-22 as it sought to strike a balance between supporting growth and maintaining fiscal discipline.

”It has been a great Budget in the current pandemic. The market has given a clear thumbs-up. One couldn’t have asked for more, of the total borrowings of Rs 1,50,000 crore a whopping Rs 1,20,000 crore is going for investment. Clearly, the government has sacrificed fiscal deficit for growth.

‘No tinkering on taxes, including personal tax and a giant leap of divesting two state-run banks and opening up of market by making way for the LIC IPO and foreign ownership in insurance companies, has been a welcome move and the primary reason for the rise in the stock market,” said Jaideep Hansraj, MD & CEO, Kotak Securities.

Krishna Kumar Karwa, Managing Director of Emkay Global Financial Services, added, ”A Budget with no changes in direct taxes will certainly be remembered for years to come. The equity market will be enthused with no tinkering in capital gains taxes or STT or any form of COVID tax.”

The proposals to privatise 2 government-run banks and one general insurance firm is noteworthy, as is the increase in FDI limit in insurance to 74 per cent. The much-awaited proposal to set up a Development Finance Institution (DFI) should boost capex in the coming years, he added.

According to Lav Chaturvedi, ED and CEO at Reliance Securities, the single securities market code announced in the Budget will bring about ease of doing business in the Indian financial markets.

All sectoral indices ended with strong gains. BSE bankex, finance, realty, capital goods and metal indices rallied up to 8.33 per cent.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices surged as much as 3.03 per cent.

On the currency front, the rupee slipped 6 paise to settle at 73.02 against the US dollar.

Global markets were on an upswing amid increased retail participation in select stocks.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended in the positive territory.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading with significant gains in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.89 per cent to USD 55.51 per barrel.

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