Sensex Ends 460 Points Higher After RBI Holds Rates Steady

Mid- and small-cap shares witnessed strong buying interest.

The Indian equity benchmarks gained for second straight session on Wednesday on the back of buying interest in rate sensitive shares after the Reserve Bank of India held its key interest rates unchanged at record lows to support the economy against the backdrop of a second surge in COVID-19 cases. The Sensex rose as much as 699 points at the day’s highest level and Nifty 50 index briefly moved above its important psychological level of 14,850. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stuck to its accommodative monetary policy stance amid concerns that rising infections could derail the country’s nascent economic recovery.

The Sensex ended 460 points or 0.94 per cent higher to close at 49,662 and Nifty 50 index climbed 136 points or 0.92 per cent to settle at 14,819.

“All the announcements made by the RBI, including government borrowing programmes, evolution of the yield curve and long-term bond purchases, are good for the markets,” Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president of research at SMC Global Securities told news agency Reuters.

The monetary policy committee decided unanimously to leave the RBI’s repo rate, its key lending rate, unchanged at 4 per cent and the reverse repo rate, its borrowing rate, at 3.35 per cent.

“The stance of monetary policy will remain accommodative till the prospects of sustained recovery are well secured while closely monitoring the evolving outlook for inflation,” Governor Shaktikanta Das told a news conference.

The RBI has slashed the repo rate by 115 basis points (bps) since the pandemic first struck India in March 2020, extending an earlier easing cycle.

Buying was visible across sectors as all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher led by the Nifty PSU Bank index’s nearly 2 per cent gain. Nifty Bank Auto, Financial Services, IT, Metal and Realty indices also rose around 1 per cent.

Mid- and small-cap shares also witnessed strong buying interest as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 1.3 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 1.71 per cent.

Shares of casual dining chain operator Barbeque Nation Hospitality bounced back after making a tepid stock market debut. Barbeque Nation Hospitality shares opened for trading at Rs 492 on the BSE and at Rs 489 on the National Stock Exchange against its issue price of Rs 500 per share. However, the shares rebounded soon after opening and rose as much as 18 per cent to hit an intraday high of Rs 590 on the BSE and climbed as much as 17.56 per cent to Rs 587.80 on the National Stock Exchange.

In the Nifty 50 basket of shares, 44 ended higher led by the JSW Steel’s over 5 per cent gain. Wipro, State Bank of India, IndusInd Bank, SBI Life, Mahindra & Mahindra, Nestle India, Eicher Motors, ICICI Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Britannia Industries, Bajaj Auto and Maruti Suzuki also rose between 1.7-2.4 per cent.

On the flipside, Adani Ports, Tata Consumer Products, UPL, Titan, NTPC, Hindustan Unilever and Tata Motors were among the notable losers.

The overall market breadth was positive as 1,837 shares ended higher while 1,111 closed lower on the BSE.

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