Markets managed to beat a spell of fluctuations towards the fag end today and closed with modest gains, giving a guarded response to the GST Council's decision to reduce tax rate on a host of daily-use items.
After some dithering, the 30-share Sensex scaled the day's high of 33,380.42 after the GST Council slashed tax rates, but closed at 33,314.56, a moderate gain of 63.63 points, or 0.19 per cent. The gauge had inched up 32.12 points yesterday.
The NSE 50-share index Nifty finished higher by 12.80 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 10,321.75.
For the week, the Sensex recorded a fall of 371 points, or 1.10 per cent, and the NSE Nifty 130.75 points, or 1.25 per cent.
The GST Council today provided some relief to several sectors by slashing tax rates on a host of consumer items -- from chewing gums to detergents -- to 18 per cent from the current 28 per cent.
It also trimmed the list of items attracting the top 28 per cent tax rate to just 50, from the 227 previously. In effect, the Council, at its 23rd meet today, slashed rates on 177 goods.
"The outcome of the GST Council will decide the trajectory of some sectors like consumer durables, auto ancillaries, infra and building products. Weaknesses in global market and rising oil prices may push investors to turn conservative on the board market," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd.
Other Asian shares traded mixed following political developments in Saudi Arabia and a surging oil, tracking overnight weakness at Wall Street amid fears of delay in US corporate tax cut. European shares were down.
The country's largest lender, SBI, surged 6.20 per cent to Rs 333.20 -- the maximum jump in the Sensex kitty -- after the company today posted strong quarterly earnings. L&T followed with a gain of 3.90 per cent after the company's construction won big job orders.
Other big gainers included Hindustan Unilever, M&M, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Auto and PowerGrid, rising up to 2.99 per cent.
Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) stuck to their buying behaviour, picking up shares net Rs 231.25 crore.
Outflows from foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) continued at a net Rs 713.75 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. BSE capital goods took the pole position, gaining 1.87 per cent. Consumer durables, banking and PSU advanced too.
The broader market showed a mixed movement, with BSE small-cap rising 0.07 per cent and mid-cap declining 0.09 per cent.