Mumbai, February 5
Extending its winning run for the fifth session, equity benchmark Sensex finished at a fresh lifetime peak on Friday after the Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged but continued its accommodative stance and announced fresh liquidity measures to revive growth.
The 30-share BSE benchmark briefly crossed the 51,000-level, before ending 117.34 points or 0.23 per cent higher at its fresh closing record of 50,731.63.
Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty scaled the 15,000 mark during the day but shed some ground to close at its all-time high of 14,924.25, up 28.60 points or 0.19 per cent.
SBI was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 10.69 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, Dr Reddy’s, UltraTech Cement, ITC and HDFC Bank.
On the other hand, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, Maruti and HCL Tech were among the laggards, tumbling up to 3.30 per cent.
Earlier in the day, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept interest rates on hold while assuring to maintain support for reflating the economy by ensuring ample liquidity to manage the government’s near-record borrowing.
The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to continue with the accommodative stance as long as necessary to revive growth and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy while ensuring that inflation remains within the target, Governor Shaktikanta Das said.
To absorb higher government borrowings, the central bank provided retail investors a direct option to invest in government securities.
It also sapped some fund from banks by raising the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and use the money for more targeted market operations.
The developmental measures announced by the RBI included the inclusion of NBFCs in the on tap TLTRO scheme, the incentive to banks to lend to new MSME borrowers through a lower CRR requirement and the further deferment of capital conservation buffer.
“RBI has maintained status quo on policy rates on expected lines. However, the commentary is quite dovish. RBI stated its monetary stance would continue to be accommodative. Also, it would ensure enough liquidity is available to support the high government borrowing program.
“Hence, the two cylinder of policy, fiscal and monetary, would be supportive to growth in economy. This is good news for banks and financials along with positive rub off to domestic cyclical sectors. We remain constructive on equity markets and believe that the economy and corporate earnings are at a cusp of a new multi-year upcycle,” said Gaurav Dua, SVP, Head Capital Market strategy, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.
BSE realty, bankex, healthcare, metal, FMCG and finance indices moved up to 0.94 per cent, while telecom, teck, auto, oil and gas and IT ended in the red.
However, broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices underperformed benchmarks, ending up to 0.93 per cent lower.
During the week, the Sensex rallied 4,445.86 points or 9.60 per cent, while the Nifty soared 1,289.65 points or 9.45 per cent.
Global shares maintained their upward trajectory on US stimulus hopes and growth optimism.
Elsewhere in Asia, indices in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with gains, while Shanghai was in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a positive note in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.95 per cent higher at USD 59.56 per barrel.
The rupee gained 3 paise to settle at 72.93 against the US dollar.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,936.74 crore on Thursday, according to exchange data. PTI