Update at 4 PM: The BSE Sensex ended with a gain of 30 points at 30,464, after a day of wide fluctuations that saw many FMCG shares rallying on the back of reasonable tax rates fixed by the GST Council on Thursday.
Update at 2.40 PM: The Sensex is up 44 points at 30,477; top gainers include ITC, Hindustan Unilever, State Bank of India and Axis Bank.
Update at 12.40 PM: State Bank of India (SBI) has reported 122 percent increase in March quarter (Q4) tandalone net profit to Rs 2,814 crore from Rs 1,264 crore in the year-ago period. The net profit for the December 2016 quarter was Rs 2,610 crore.
Total income for Q4 came at Rs 57,720 crore, up from Rs 53,527 crore during the March 2016 quarter.
Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) and net NPAs stood at 6.90 percent and 3.71 percent, respectively, as of March 31, 2017, marking a QoQ decline from 7.23 percent and 4.24 percent, respectively, as of December 31, 2016.
The bank announced a dividend of Rs 2.60 for each share (face value Re 1) and fixed the record data as June 6, 2017. The stock was trading 1.55 percent higher at Rs 307.65.
Update at 11.19 AM: Benchmark indices give up early gains, BSE Sensex now trading at 30,537, up 102 points, NSE Nifty up 24 points at 9,454. FMCG stocks were trading with handsome gains on the back of GST news. ITC, Colgate-Palmolive, Jayashree Tea, Marico, Tata Coffee and Tata Global Beverages were outperforming other stocks.
Update at 10.22 AM: Select stocks hit fresh 52-week highs on Friday in early trade, mainly because of the GST rate finalisation for 1,211 items by the GST Council the previous day. ITC, Petronet LNG, Hindustan Unilever, State Bank of India, LTI (formerly L&T Infotech) and Manpasand Beverages were among the stocks that hit new year highs.
The rate on services is expected to be fixed today, the second day of the Council meeting. As already known, the GST is scheduled to be rolled out from July 1, 2017.
Update at 9.40 AM: The BSE Sensex was up 221 points at 30,662, Nifty was trading 63 points higher; ITC, Hindustan Unilever, Coal India and SBI were leading the rally. The 30-scrip Sensex hit a fresh lifetime high of 30,692.
Stock markets are likely to open with gains on Friday, reversing Thursday losses, on the back of two positive triggers: the finalisation of tax rates for 1,211 items by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Thursday and the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) order to halt execution of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan.
While the latter is a diplomatic victory for the Modi government and has an emotional value, the fitment of rates to most goods and services by the GST Council clears a lot of uncertainty.
On the first day of its 14th meeting in Srinagar, the GST Council decided to exempt food items such as wheat, cereals and milk from GST while fixing the rate at 28 percent for cars, regrigerators and air-conditioners.
"Nearly 81 per cent of the items will fall under below-18 percent GST rate slabs and only 19 percent of the goods will be taxed above 18 percent," Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said.
Daily use items such as soaps, hair oil and toothpaste will attract 18 percent as against the current 22-24 percent while capital goods and industrial intermediaries will attract 18 percent in comparison to the existing 28 percent, according to the Mint.
This is likely to lift share prices of FMCG stocks such as Hindustan Unilever Ltd., Marico, Dabur and P&G.
Logistics stocks such as Allcargo Logistics, Snowman Logistics, Gati are likely to gain after the significant movement in the rollout of the GST from July 1.
The 28 percent levy on cars should also be seen as a big positive since it is on expected lines and therefore lead to gains in share prices of Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Mahindra.
The rate for the most-awaited commodity, gold, will be decided on Friday.
In other news, State Bank of India (SBI) will be declaring its Q4 and FY2017 results.
On Thursday, the Sensex closed 224 points (0.73 percent) down at 30,434. Top losers were Tata Motors and Axis Bank while IT stocks Wipro, TCS and Infosys ended with gains after a series of losses in the past few sessions over layoff reports. Foreign portfolio investors were net sellers of Indian equities worth Rs 361 crore, according to provisional data published by the National Stock Exchange.