Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2016-10-22 19:22 Mumbai: The government's efforts to build consensus on the key contours of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and healthy quarterly earnings lifted the Indian equity markets during the week ended Friday. Besides, active participation by the domestic institutional investors (DIIs), along with expectation of more stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) and healthy Chinese macro-economic data buoyed investors' sentiments. The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE gained 403.58 points or 1.46 per cent to 28,077.18 points. Similarly, the 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged-higher by 109.65 points or 1.28 per cent to 8,693.05 points. Broader markets, too, ended the week with decent gains in line with the headline Indices. The midcap index ended higher by 1.00 per cent and the small cap index edged-up by 3.00 per cent. "Indian stock markets witnessed mixed trend in the week gone by tracking weak cues from Asia and Europe," said D.K. Aggarwal, Chairman and Managing Director, SMC Investments and Advisors. "Cautious mood prevailed ahead of earnings, Chinese data, the ECB's dovish monetary policy decision and sharp rebound in oil prices." However, positive quarterly earnings enhanced investors' risk taking-appetite elaborated Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. "Quarterly numbers gave enough distractions to the US and Indian markets with early numbers being better than expected, but Europe was greeted with profit warnings," James told IANS. "The pounds' weakness as well as fears over Brexit also kept the Eurozone on the back foot." According to Angel Broking, the equity markets gained strongly during the early part of the week on the positive developments regarding the implementation of the GST. During the week, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the GST Council has almost reached a consensus on compensating states for the revenue loss under the new revenue collection regime, which will facilitate a decision on the new tax structure at its next meeting. The council will meet next on November 3-4, when the other major issue of "dual control", or the division of authority between the centre and states, for tax assessments would also be decided. Another major positive theme for the week was the release of minutes from the first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The minutes revealed the committee's outlook on a stable inflation trend of 5.00 per cent by March 2017. The trend has heightened investors' hopes for another monetary policy easing by the country's central bank. On October 4, 2016, the MPC had reduced a key lending rate by 25 basis points, bringing in much relief to commercial banks and India Inc. However, weak global cues, massive outflows of foreign funds and rupee depreciation capped gains. The provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that the week ended October 21 witnessed a foreign funds' outflow of Rs 659.98 crore. Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) disclosed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were net sellers of equities worth Rs 745.56 crore, or $111.46 million from October 17 to 21. "FIIs have been selling Indian equity holdings on most days of the last week, while good position built was seen in both index futures and options," James said. "This is not surprising given the event risks lined up for the early part of November." The Indian rupee weakened by 18 paise to 66.89 against a US dollar from its previous close of 66.70-71 to a greenback.