New Delhi: Benchmark equity indices ended lower on the Budget day on Thursday as investors opted for profit-taking amid mixed cues. After shedding early gains, the markets turned volatile during the presentation of the interim Budget, where the capital expenditure outlay was marginally hiked but there were no major announcements.
The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 106.81 points or 0.15 percent to settle at 71,645.30. During the day, it gyrated between a high of 72,151.02 and a low of 71,574.89. (Also Read: Explainer: What Next For Paytm’s Banking Arm After RBI Clampdown?)
The Nifty dipped 28.25 points or 0.13 percent to 21,697.45. It oscillated between the day’s high of 21,832.95 and a low of 21,658.75. Market sentiments were also dampened after the US Federal Reserve indicated it likely won’t cut interest rates in March. (Also Read: Capturing Moments: President Offers Dahi To Nirmala Sitharaman Ahead Of Budget)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday hiked capital expenditure by 11 percent for the next fiscal to sustain a world-beating economic growth rate while trimming the deficit in a reform-oriented interim Budget that also gave relief to the common man from disputed small tax demands of up to Rs 25,000.
Presenting a vote on account or an interim Budget for 2024-25, Sitharaman proposed no changes in income tax rates for individuals and corporates, as well as customs duty.
In less than an hour-long budget speech, she presented the Modi government’s achievements in the last 10 years that transformed India from being a ‘fragile’ economy to the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
She hiked capital expenditure to Rs 11.11 lakh crore for 2024-25 while trimming the fiscal deficit for this financial year to 5.8 percent, from the budgeted 5.9 percent of GDP, and further lowering it to 5.1 percent in the next fiscal.
Among the Sensex firms, Larsen & Toubro, UltraTech Cement, JSW Steel, Titan, Bajaj Finance, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, and Nestle were the major laggards.
Maruti, Power Grid, Axis Bank, State Bank of India, NTPC, HDFC Bank, ITC, and IndusInd Bank were the gainers. “In a short budget speech, usual for an interim budget immediately preceding general elections, the FM largely traversed on a Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.66 percent to USD 81.08 a barrel.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought equities worth Rs 1,660.72 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data. The BSE benchmark jumped 612.21 points or 0.86 percent to settle at 71,752.11 on Wednesday. The Nifty climbed 203.60 points or 0.95 percent to 21,725.70.