Indian shares see best week in a month after cenbank assures liquidity

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares closed higher on Friday, rounding off their best week in more than a month, after the central bank kept key interest rates unchanged as expected and promised adequate liquidity to support the economic recovery.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed up 0.59% at 17,895.20 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.64% to 60,059.06. Both the indexes gained over 2% for the week.

“There should not be any concern about the adequacy of liquidity in the banking system to support recovery or financial markets,” Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said in his policy address.

“Our entire approach is of gradualism, we don’t want suddenness or surprises,” he said, adding there was no need for conducting more G-SAP or government securities acquisition programme auctions at this point.

The central bank left the key lending rate or the repo rate steady at 4%, while the reverse repo rate or the borrowing rate also stayed unchanged at 3.35%.

Some analysts had signalled a slim chance of the monetary policy committee delivering a token increase in the reverse repo rate.

The country’s benchmark 10-year bond yield hit a 17-month high of 6.32% after the decision, while the Indian rupee strengthened and broke the 75 mark, against the dollar after the RBI halted G-SAP purchases.

Analysts said the equity markets were temporarily relieved as the RBI’s tone sounded more dovish than expected.

“The markets should draw comfort from this guidance and assuage any concerns coming out of a faster than expected policy normalisation,” Tata Capital Chief Executive Rajiv Sabharwal said.

Meanwhile, shares of Tata Consultancy Services closed up 1.1% ahead of its September quarter results later in the day. Indian biscuit maker Mrs. Bectors Ltd surged as much as 7.3% after HDFC Securities began coverage of the stock.

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