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Sensex, Nifty Open Higher as GST Council Clears All Draft Bills

Financial News UpdatesIndian Stock markets have opened the trading Friday on a firm note after the GST council State GST Bill and Union Territory GST (UTGST) Bill, setting the stage for putting into action the landmark tax reform by 1 July 2017. At 10.30 am, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 114.84 points or 0.39% at 29,700.69 whereas the Nifty was up 12.15 points or 0.13% at 9,165.85.

Nifty scaled a fresh record high supported by ITC that gained 7%. Metal and power stocks gained in early trade. The BSE Mid Cap index opened up by 0.3%, while BSE Small Cap index opened up by 0.2%.

ITC stock was the major contributor on Sensex and Nifty, and added over 6% to Rs 285 after the GST Council capped the tax on tobacco products at Rs 4,170 per 1,000 cigarette sticks. Shares of MTNL rose over 5% to Rs 26 on reports that a Parliamentary panel has suggested merger of BSNL and MTNL for their long-term survival.

Asian stocks moved slowly higher in early trade today, set for its best week since September 2016, while the U.S dollar continued the slide that began after the Fed Reserve showed that it was not likely to gear up monetary tightening.

COMEX Gold futures surged to a 2-week peak yesterday 16 March 2017, as continued weakness in the dollar following the Federal Reserve’s instructive stance on the pace of interest-rate increases this year triggered the sentiments. MCX Gold futures ended nearly Rs 28,400 per 10 grams, up 1.50% on the day after hitting highs above Rs 28,500 levels.