The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes ended on a subdued note after surging for seven sessions in a row till Friday, also their best winning streak of 2020, as investors assessed the latest government measures announced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to stimulate consumer demand in the economy which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. The benchmarks staged a gap up opening wherein Nifty 50 index briefly moved above its important psychological level of 12,000 and Sensex rallied as much as 396 points.
The Sensex ended 84 points or 0.21 per cent higher at 40,594 and Nifty 50 index rose 17 points or 0.14 per cent to close at 11,931.
The government on Monday announced steps to stimulate consumer demand, including advance payment of a part of the wages of central government employees during the festival season and more capital spending as it tries to bolster the pandemic-hit economy.
The government will allow its employees to spend tax-exempt travel allowances on goods and services, Nirmala Sitharaman, finance minister told a news briefing.
Eight of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank index’s 2 per cent decline. Banking, auto, financial services, metal, private bank and real estate shares also faced selling pressure.
On the other hand, FMCG, IT and pharma shares witnessed buying interest.
Mid- and small-cap shares also faced selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index declined 0.70 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index fell 0.4 per cent.
ITC was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose nearly 3 per cent to close at Rs 172. Infosys, UPL, Cipla, Asian Paints, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Hindalco, HCL Technologies Power Grid and Maruti Suzuki were also among the gainers.
On the flipside, GAIL India, JSW Steel, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors, HDFC Life, Eicher Motors, SBI LIfe, ONGC, HDFC Bank, Coal India, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp and IndusInd Bank were among the losers.