Money & Banking

Nifty, Sensex up ahead of monetary policy decision

Reuters Bengaluru | Updated on December 04, 2020 Published on December 04, 2020

RBI to hold policy meeting today

Indian shares edged up on Friday, ahead of a central bank decision that would potentially leave interest rates unchanged in the face of stubbornly high inflation and a slowing economic contraction.

All 53 analysts and economists in a Reuters poll conducted in November said they do not expect any change in rates at the three-day policy meeting ending Friday, with the next rate cut now seen in the April-June quarter.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.31 per cent to 13,174.65 as of 0345 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.29 per cent at 44,763.11.

The benchmark indexes have hit record highs for 10 of the last 17 sessions, boosted by progress in developing a working Covid-19 vaccine. They added more than 11 per cent in November on record inflows from foreign institutional investors.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has already cut its key interest rate by a total 115 basis points this year to revive growth and cushion the impact of the pandemic.

Apart from high inflation, data last month showed the economy shrank just 7.5 per cent in the September quarter compared with expectations of an 8.8 per cent contraction, giving little room for the central bank to further cut rates.

Economists and market participants, however, will keenly listen to the RBI's commentary on liquidity measures as well as its forecasts on growth and inflation.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Reuters on Thursday that India's economy would return to growth in 2021/22 after a sharp contraction in the latest year, with the government focusing on higher public spending.

Rate-sensitive financial stocks edged higher ahead of the policy announcement. The Nifty Banking index, which surged nearly 24 per cent in November, rose 0.4 per cent.

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Published on December 04, 2020
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