Sensex, Nifty rise ahead of monetary policy decision
Indian shares edged up on Friday, ahead of a central bank decision that would potentially leave interest rates unchanged in the face of stubbornly high inflation and a slowing economic contraction.
All 53 analysts and economists in a Reuters poll conducted in November said they do not expect any change in rates at the three-day policy meeting ending Friday, with the next rate cut now seen in the April-June quarter.
The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.31% to 13,174.65 as of 0345 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.29% at 44,763.11.
The benchmark indexes have hit record highs for 10 of the last 17 sessions, boosted by progress in developing a working Covid-19 vaccine. They added more than 11% in November on record inflows from foreign institutional investors.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has already cut its key interest rate by a total 115 basis points this year to revive growth and cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Apart from high inflation, data last month showed the economy shrank just 7.5% in the September quarter compared with expectations of an 8.8% contraction, giving little room for the central bank to further cut rates.
Economists and market participants, however, will keenly listen to the RBI’s commentary on liquidity measures as well as its forecasts on growth and inflation.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Reuters on Thursday that India’s economy would return to growth in 2021/22 after a sharp contraction in the latest year, with the government focusing on higher public spending.
Rate-sensitive financial stocks edged higher ahead of the policy announcement. The Nifty Banking index, which surged nearly 24% in November, rose 0.4%.
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- That was the upshot of the International Monetary Fund’s forecasts on Tuesday, which downgraded the growth outlook for 2021 across Europe and underscored a generally poorer performance compared with China and the US.
- The proceeds of the bond sale would be used to finance early redemption of dollar bonds of a similar amount maturing next year.
- HCL Technologies Ltd said it signed 13 new ‘transformational’ deals in the December quarter, aided by momentum in its digital, cloud, and products and platform segments.
- Net sales of 166 BSE-listed cos grew 10.47% from a year ago during Q3.
- India’s September quarter GDP estimate, at -7.5% after -23.9% in the June quarter, positively surprised analysts.