Most Indian stocks advanced, led by energy companies, amid an increase in crude-oil prices.
NTPC Ltd. (NTPC), the nation’s biggest power producer, climbed to a two-week high, while Gail India Ltd. (GAIL), a natural-gas supplier, rallied for a fourth day. Coal India Ltd. (COAL), the world’s biggest miner of the fuel, rallied to a five-month high. Crude rose for a second day, extending Dec. 19’s 3.6 percent surge.
Two shares rose for each that fell on the S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX), which added 0.1 percent to 27,414.5 at 11:25 a.m. The measure ended two weeks of losses last week amid speculation demand for emerging-market assets will hold after the Federal Reserve said that it would be patient over interest-rate increases. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced a goods and services tax bill in parliament on Dec. 19 as the government seeks to make the country a single market and replace a web of state levies.
“The fact that the government was able to introduce the GST bill in this session of parliament is a big positive,” P. Phani Sekhar, a fund manager at Angel Broking Ltd., said in a Bloomberg TV India interview today. The GST is one of the key reforms that the government is pushing, the brokerage said.
The GST would replace more than a dozen taxes that boost incentives for corruption and offer the economy a boost of as much as 1.7 percent, according to the National Council of Applied Economic Research. It must be approved by 15 of India’s 29 states as well as both houses of parliament.
India’s economy is projected to grow 5.5 percent in the year to March 2015, the finance ministry said in a mid-year review presented to parliament on Dec. 19. The nation’s gross domestic product grew 4.7 percent last year.
NTPC rose 2.5 percent to its highest level since Dec. 8. Gail India increased 2.6 percent, the most on the Sensex. Coal India added 1.7 percent to its highest level since July 24.
The Sensex is poised for its best annual performance since 2009 as foreigners plowed $ 16.5 billion into local shares, the most among eight Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg, after Japan. The gauge trades at 15.1 times projected 12-month profits, compared with a multiple of 11.1 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
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