For the first time in 4 years, markets rise on Budget day

The benchmark BSE Sensex finally end 141.38 points up at 29,361 points, after hovering around 28,882.02 points at noon, encouraged by the slashing of the corporate tax by 5 per cent and deferral of General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR).

The Nifty rose 57 points to finish at 8,901.85 points.

The Sensex had ended with losses on the Budget day in 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Shares of banking, healthcare and auto sectors shot up on strong buying while fast-moving consumer goods, consumer durables and power companies fell on selling pressure. Scrips of cigarette makers, led by ITC, declined on a proposal to hike excise duty on cigarettes.

Though initially on a low note,  sentiments rose after finance minister Arun Jaitley's announcement of th cut in corporate tax by 5 per cent to 25 per cent over four years starting April 2016.

Besides, the proposal to defer applicability of GAAR by two years also boosted buying, while the government's projections on growth and commitment on fiscal discipline front supported sentiment.

The BSE Sensex resumed higher at 29,411.33 and hovered in a wide range of 28,882.02 and 29,560.32. A recovery in the last two hours helped it end at 29,361.50, logging a gain of 141.38 points or 0.48 per cent.

Among Sensex constituents, Axis Bank topped the gainers by surging 8.1 per cent. Other major Sensex gainers were Tata Motors (3.15 per cent), Sun Pharma (3.62 per cent), ICICI Bank (3.15 per cent), HUL (2.50 per cent), Dr Reddy (2.60 per cent), Cipla (1.84 per cent) and M&M (1.02 per cent).

As many as 22 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex pack ended higher while eight declined.

However, ITC dropped by 8.27 per cent, followed by BHEL 3.21 per cent, NTPC 1.64 per cent, Hindalco 1.29 per cent and Tata Power 0.40 per cent.

Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Bankex rose by 3.27 per cent, followed by Healthcare 2.03 per cent and Auto 1.08 per cent while FMCG fell by 4.09 per cent, Consumer Durable 2.05 per cent and Power 1.15 per cent.

The total market breadth turned negative as 1,498 stocks ended in red, 1,230 finished in green while 141 ruled steady.

This is probably the first time in many years that the Union Budget was presented on a Saturday. The stock markets are generally closed on Saturdays and Sundays, except for special circumstances.