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Sensex, Nifty close higher after budget-driven slide; consumer stocks shine

A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian stock indexes closed higher on Monday, as auto and consumer shares gained and helped the markets recover from the previous session’s bruising selloff as a reaction to the federal budget.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.39% higher at 11,707.90, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed 0.34% higher at 39,872.31.

Stock indexes fell on Saturday to their lowest closing level in more than three months after the budget failed to address key concerns among investors over taxes on long-term capital gains.

On Monday, the Nifty auto index gained 1.37%, and shares in the country’s top automaker Maruti Suzuki Ltd rose 2.9%, while those in peers Bajaj Auto and Mahindra and Mahindra gained 4.5% and 2.5%, respectively.

Consumer goods stocks also gained after the budget introduced tax cuts for individual taxpayers, a move aimed at providing more disposable income for consumers.

Consumer products maker Hindustan Unilever Ltd jumped 5%, while cookie maker Britannia Industries Ltd climbed 4.3%.

However, hotels-to-cigarettes conglomerate ITC Ltd slid 5.2% after the budget proposed raising taxes on cigarettes.

Meanwhile, world shares sank to their lowest in seven weeks, dragged down by a plunge in Asian stocks on their first trading day after a long break on fears the coronavirus epidemic would hit demand in China.

Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Arun Koyyur