Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Indian benchmarks end higher on Thursday, RBI retains key interest rate

Indian benchmarks end higher on Thursday, RBI retains key interest rate

The Sensex ended marginally higher in see-saw trade today, helped by a late buying spell in pharma, energy and banking stocks amid lacklustre global cues.

"The markets also cheered the 'normal" southwest monsoon forecast by private weather forecasting agency Skymet. Unveiling its first bi-monthly policy review for 2018-19, the Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee has kept the repo rate unchanged at 6%, as widely expected.

With an aim to safeguard investors' interest, leading stock exchanges - BSE and NSE - have advised their members to take extra caution while trading in as many as 194 illiquid stocks.

The gauge had soared nearly 578 points in the previous session after the RBI kept the policy rate unchanged but said growth will rebound this fiscal amid softening inflation.

Consequently, Nifty closed flat at 10,332, while the Sensex settled with a slight gain of 30 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 33,627.

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India's state-run bank shares rallied on Thursday after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lowered the amount the lenders needed to set aside as of end-March for their loans to almost 40 companies that are undergoing bankruptcy resolution proceedings. The RBI said, "On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation1 at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) chose to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.0 per cent". Moreover, crude oil prices have become volatile in the recent period.

Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities to the tune of Rs 615.28 crore yesterday, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net sold shares worth Rs 108.02 crore, according to provisional data. Auto index too gained 1.83 per cent to 25,338.43. The main Mumbai market index rose 1.3 percent.

Back home, the broader markets also participated in the rally, with the Nifty Midcap and Smallcap indices gaining 1.99 per cent and 2.29 percent, respectively.

Among the early gainers were Sobha whose shares went up by seven per cent while Magma Fincorp was down by six per cent.

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