Sensex spurts 333 points on hopes of 50 bps rate cut; Nifty gains 100 points

Our Bureau Agencies Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018


Indian stocks rose to a near 11-week high on Monday as hopes increased the central bank could cut rates by as much as 50 basis points next month after the government slashed the country's retail savings rate last week.

The 30-share BSE index Sensex ended higher by 332.63 points or 1.33 per cent at 25,285.37 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty ended up by 99.9 points or 1.31 per cent at 7,704.25.

Among BSE sectoral indices, capital goods index gained the most by 2.01 per cent, followed by consumer durables 1.8 per cent, realty 1.78 per cent and banking 1.7 per cent.

Banks led the gains, with State Bank of India rising 3 per cent and Punjab National Bank advancing 3 per cent.

The S&P BSE Bankex index has rallied about 13 per cent this month after government unveiled a fiscally prudent budget and as the central bank eased rules on how banks can account for capital to meet Basel III requirements.

Meanwhile, shares of Indian jewellery firms climbed after jewellers called off a 19-day strike late on Saturday following the government's assurance that the excise department would not "harass” the jewellers while collecting a new tax.

PC Jeweller Ltd advanced 3.22 per cent.

Persistent Systems ended higher by 10.52 per cent ahead of an investor and analyst call scheduled after market close in which investors hope the company would provide optimistic business guidance for the next fiscal year.

Among the laggards, Asian Paints fell nearly 2 per cent after Kotak Institutional Equities said its channel checks suggested the company has cut prices across its decoratives portfolio by around a weighted average of 3 per cent.

Top five Sensex gainers were HUL (+4.05%), State Bank of India (+2.93%), Sun Pharma (+2.42%), L&T (+2.38%) and Tata Motors (+2.36%), while the major losers were Asian Paints (-1.75%), Lupin (-1.51%), BHEL (-1.24%), Hero MotoCorp (-1.08%) and GAIL (-0.58%).

Rate cut

The government had on Friday cut interest rates for term deposits offered to millions of small savers after the Reserve Bank of India reduced interest rates by 125 basis points last year.

Bank shares rose, tracking strong gains in bond markets.

Aligning the government rates with the private sector could spur banks to further cut their lending rates and encourage the RBI to cut rates more aggressively at its April 5 policy review, analysts said.

Traders have been expecting the RBI to cut rates by 25 bps, but now see the prospect of a 50 bps easing.

“With the cut we have seen in the small saving schemes, the probability of 50 bps (rate cut) has gone up and that's why markets are looking to break out of this short-term range,” said Pankaj Pandey, head of research at ICICI Securities.

Published on March 21, 2016

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