New Delhi: Fuelled by a rally in its stock price, FMCG major ITC remains the most influential stock on the Indian markets, posing a challenge to RIL's long reign at the helm.

As on April 30, ITC commanded a weight of 9.25 percent, while RIL had 9.24 percent weight on the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex.

On the NSE's 50-share Nifty, ITC had a weight of 8.09 percent, while RIL held 7.68 percent weight as on tuesday.

ITC had first replaced Mukesh Ambani-led RIL as the most influential stock on Indian bourses on April 17, but the very next day the energy major regained the top-weighted stock status on the BSE benchmark index Sensex, pushing the FMCG giant down to the second slot.

However, since April 19 onwards, ITC continues to lead as the most influential stock on both the benchmark indices -Sensex and Nifty, dethroning pushing Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).

Shares of ITC has gained nearly 24 percent so far this year (from January 2 - April 30), whereas RIL has seen a rise of 5.41 percent in its stock price during the same period.

According to market experts, whenever there is uncertainty in the stock market, investors tend to invest in defensive sectors such as FMCG. Defensive stocks generally remain stable during the various phases of the business cycle.

"As an FMCG stock, ITC is expected to do good in future, while investors are not very enthused for RIL at the moment due to its sluggish fourth quarter performance," said Gaurang Shah, Asst Vice-President, Geojit BNP Paribas.

Analysts also expect ITC to post strong earnings in fiscal 2013 and 2014.

ITC is at the top slot in terms of Sensex weight, which is measured by the value of a company's free-float or non-promoter shares that can be freely traded in the market.

After RIL, Infosys occupies the third place in the list.

Measured in terms of its weight on the key indices of Indian stock market (Sensex as well as Nifty), Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) had been consistently enjoying its position as the most influential stock for many years till early December, 2011.

In the quarter ended March 31, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) have also raised their stake in ITC to 17.4 percent from 16.31 percent in December quarter, shareholding data available on the BSE showed.

RIL however, remains bigger in terms of the overall market value, including the value of promoter shares.

The total market value of RIL stood at Rs 2,44,019 crore as on Tuesday, while ITC commanded an m-cap of Rs 1,91,746 crore.

RIL is the country's most valued company, followed by TCS, ONGC, Coal India and ITC in that order.

(Agencies)