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Sensex ends up 24 points as RBI keeps rates on hold

Mumbai :The BSE Sensex advanced for the fourth straight day today as it closed 24 points higher at over a three-week high of 26,169.41 after RBI kept the door open for future rate cuts at its policy review and GDP quickened.

While leaving the key repo rate steady at 6.75 per cent, Governor Raghuram Rajan today said he is open to easing rates as and when room is available, saying inflation is likely to come in better than expected.

Data showed Indian economy grew faster than China at 7.4 per cent in the July-September quarter, from 7 per cent in the preceding one, which gave investors much cheer.

The BSE Sensex started on a positive note and rose further before settling higher by 23.74 points, or 0.09 per cent at 26,169.41, a level last seen November 6.

Higher levels could not be sustained as participants locked in gains. The gauge had gained 369.92 points in the previous three sessions.

The NSE Nifty also moved up 19.65 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 7,954.90 after shuttling between 7,972.15 and 7,934.15.

The rupee firmed up to 66.49 against the dollar today, helping mood brighten further.

“Indices continued to be lacklustre and traded in a narrow range on an eventful day. RBI has kept its key rates unchanged in its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review… A weak HSBC manufacturing PMI and continued sell-off by foreign portfolio investors affected sentiment,” said Gaurav Jain, Director, Hem Securities.

Stocks of metal companies led by Vedanta Ltd, Tata Steel and Hindalco were back in limelight and gained up to 4.66 per cent after global metal prices climbed.

Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 16 ended higher.

Coal India, Dr Reddy’s, Hind Unilever, Wipro and NTPC all gained.

Sector-wise, the BSE metal index jumped the most surging 3.18 per cent, followed by healthcare 1.07 per cent, FMCG 1.07 per cent and PSU 0.97 per cent.

In step with the trend, the mid-cap index rose 0.78 per cent and small-cap 0.46 per cent.

Meanwhile, foreign investors sold shares worth Rs 1,043.84 crore yesterday, showed provisional data.

Key indices like China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan ended higher by up to 1.75 per cent.

“Investors are cautiously waiting for the global triggers such as ECB policy meeting this week and the Fed meet announcement in the latter half of this month,” said Vinod Nair, Head-Fundamental Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd.

Bharti Airtel fell 3.53 per cent followed by Gail India, Axis Bank, Tata Motors and Infosys.

The market breadth remained positive as 1,672 stocks ended higher, 1,156 ended in the red while 145 ruled steady.
The total turnover rose further to Rs 2,992 crore approximately, from 2,831.87 crore yesterday.