Nifty 50 surpassed the 21,000 mark to hit a high of 21006.10 following the RBI’s decision to maintain the repo rate at 6.5 per cent consecutively on Friday. Nifty was up by 74.80 points or 0.36 per cent on the NSE, at 20,975.95 at 11:51 am; while S&P BSE Sensex was up be 299 pts or 43 per cent at 69,820.69.

Commenting on the RBI MPC announcement, lead economist of Emkay Global Financial Services, Madhavi Arora, said, “We expect liquidity to stay comfortable and range-bound in the near term but to tighten by March.” Arora added that the policy outcome is largely neutral for bonds and the markets to stay range bound amid low year-end liquidity, with ten-year yield hovering between 7.20-7.30 per cent. “However, RBI’s consistent concern on skewness of liquidity distribution in the banking system has now led them to allow reversal of liquidity facility under both SDF and MSF even on weekends,” Arora futher said.

Akhil Mittal, Senior Fund Manager of Tata Asset Management, said that the RBI seems to be committed to achieving inflation target while keeping a close watch on global financial market conditions. “With policy largely in line with expectations and no mention of Open Market Operation (OMO) sales (which led to sell-off in last policy review), we expect markets to perform better and yields to come-off 5-10 bps across the curve. Overall, at the margin, policy seems to be positive for markets,” Mittal added.

Ashish Khandelia, founder of Certus Capital and, said, “The rate pause by RBI is on expected lines. Rate increases over the last 1.5 years have been absorbed well without any impact on buyer interest, which remains very robust. And this pause will further help sustain the momentum.”

Noting that the GDP growth for 2023-24 is projected at 7 per cent, an increase from the previous projection of 6.5 per cent, Emkay Global’s analyst Arora said that the government sounded positive on domestic dynamics. “Overall, the policy tone was comfortable, while MPC still insisted on keeping an eye on inflation and financial stability risk and active liquidity management,” Madhavi Arora said.

Major stocks that gained on the NSE at 11:57 am include JSW Steel, HCL Technologies, LTIMindtree, LT, and HDFC Bank. Meanwhile, major losers were Adani Ports, Adani Enterprises, Hero Motocorp, Bajaj Finance, and Mahindra & Mahindra.

The top stocks that hit a 52-week high on NSE at 11:58 am include Orchid Pharma, Puravankara, Spencer’s Retail, Nagreeka Exports, and GMR Airports Infrastructure.

On the BSE, 3,750 stocks were traded as of 12 noon on Friday, of which, 1,914 advanced, and 1,675 declined. 161 stocks retained unchanged. The number of stocks that hit 52-week high were 318, while those that hit 52-week low were 17.