Indian equities trade flat ahead of GST launch

Mumbai: Just ahead of the launch of the country’s biggest indirect tax reform — Goods and Services Tax (GST) — the Indian equity markets traded lower on Friday as investors booked profits.

The key equity indices trimmed some of their morning losses to trade on a flat-to-negative note during the mid-afternoon session. However, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in automobile and capital goods stocks.

Around 1 p.m., the wider Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 9,489.60 points — down 14.50 points, or 0.15 per cent.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 30,824.97 points, traded at 30,813.34 points — down 44.18 points, or 0.14 per cent, from its previous close at 30,857.52 points.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 30,859.28 points and a low of 30,680.66 points during intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was slightly bearish — with 1,198 declines and 1,160 advances.

“The equity markets opened lower on Friday, with weak cues from global markets and anxiety ahead of midnight rollout of GST today weighing on markets,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

“Among the prominent decliners, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Infratel, Larsen and Toubro, and IndiaBulls Housing Finance lost 1-2 per cent. Top gainers for the day were Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Cipla, Mcdowell-N,” he added.

On Thursday, the key indices recouped after sixth consecutive sessions of losses to close on a flat note — marginally in the green — as volatility was induced on the day of June derivatives expiry.

The Nifty closed higher by 12.85 points, or 0.14 per cent at 9,504.10 points, while the Sensex closed at 30,857.52 points — up 23.20 points, or 0.08 per cent.