Sensex settled 52 points higher at 41,306
Sensex settled 52 points higher at 41,306

Sensex starts new year on a cautious note, FMCG, IT stocks lead gains

  • L&T and Adani Ports were among the top gainers in infra space
  • The broader markets also logged some gains

Indian markets began the New Year will on a subdued note, with benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty logging muted gains. On the first trading session of the year, the Sensex settled 52 points higher at 41,306. The Nifty ended at 12,189, up 0.17%.

The broader markets also logged some gains. The BSE midcap index rose 0.21% while smallcap index advanced 0.6%.

With an aim to boost sagging economic growth, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced a slew of investments in roads, railways, airports and agricultural projects over the next five years, projecting a total expenditure of about 100 lakh crore.

About 78% of the spending would be split equally between the centre and state governments, while the remaining 22% would come from the private sector, the finance ministry said in its National Infrastructure Pipeline report.

Analysts said the plan would help ramp up the pace of construction over the next few years and likely require higher allocations in the union budget that is due to be presented next month.

"Availability of funds may turn out to be a key limiting factor for such an ambitious plan," analysts at Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd said.

The Nifty Infrastructure index, which tracks everything from construction firms and cement producers to oil refiners and airlines, was up 0.24%.

"It is encouraging to note that this infra spending target is double of the Central and state government’s total Infra spending of the last six yrs. This can boost investor sentiment towards infra stocks. However, it is important to note that achieving this spending target will be possible only if the fiscal position of the government, which is fragile today, improves," said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd gained 3% while L&T rose 1%. Among the Sensex stocks, PowerGrid gained 2.7%, NTPC 2%, M&M 1%, HUL 0.9%, HDFC 0.84%, Infosys 0.70% and HCL Tech 0.66%. (With Agency Inputs)

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