1. Indian markets give up gains after interim budget

Indian markets give up gains after interim budget

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2 min read • Updated: February 1, 2024, 12:30 PM

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Summary

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised economic reforms to drive growth in her budget speech.

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The country has set a target to narrow its fiscal deficit to 5.1% in the fiscal year 2024/25.

Bengaluru, 1 February: Indian shares on Thursday gave up early gains as the country's finance minister presented the interim budget without any major announcements as expected ahead of the country's general election.

The NSE Nifty 50 index and the S&P BSE Sensex were mostly unchanged as of 12:00 p.m. IST. They were up about 0.3% ahead of the budget.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised economic reforms to drive growth in her budget speech.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was largely expected to avoid spending big on new welfare programmes in the budget before the general election.

Meanwhile, the country has set a target to narrow its fiscal deficit to 5.1% in the fiscal year 2024/25 and lower its borrowings than economists' estimate.

Among the sectors, auto stocks were top gainers, rising 1% as companies reported sales data for January.

Meanwhile, shares of fintech firm Paytm tanked 20% after the Reserve Bank of India restricted Paytm Payments Bank from fresh deposits and credit transactions across its services due to supervisory concerns.

Indian fisheries stocks jumped as the government doubled the export target in the budget, while power stocks gained as the budget proposed that 1 crore houses would get free electricity via solar rooftops.

(This story has been published from Reuters without any major editorial changes.)