New Delhi: The stock markets started on a positive note on Friday, ahead of Union Minister Piyush Goyal presenting the Interim Budget 2019 in the Parliament today. The BSE Sensex gained over 100 points.
Healthy buying has been witnessed in the auto and capital goods stocks so far.
At 9.19 a.m., the Sensex traded at 36,378.91, higher by 122.22 points or 0.34 per cent from the previous close of 36,256.69 points.
It had opened at 36,311.74, and so far touched an intra-day high of 36,387.84 and a low of 36,261.95 points.
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The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 10,850.65, higher by 19.70 points or 0.18 per cent from the previous close of 10,830.95 points.
Top gainers in the Sensex pack include Hero MotoCorp, HCL Tech, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Finance, Infosys, HDFC, HUL, M&M, L&T, ITC and Maruti, rising up to 2.91 per cent.
Vedanta was the biggest loser on Sensex, cracking over 18 per cent after the metals and mining giant Thursday reported a 25.54 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 1,574 crore for the December 2018 quarter, on the back of higher expenses and drop in commodity prices.
Other losers include PowerGrid, ONGC, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank and Sun Pharma, shedding up to 1.14 per cent.
This comes hours ahead of the government presenting its last budget ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, scheduled to be held in April-May this year.
While the government has clarified that it will be a vote-on-account, it is expected to make some big-ticket announcements, particularly for the distressed rural sector.
According to reports, while the government has no plans to announce farm loan waivers, it may consider other options, including direct cash transfer of Rs 3,000-4,000 per acre and extending crop loans at zero per cent interest.
Also, the government is expected to increase the income tax exemption limit from the current Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.