Sensex Rallies 447 Points to Breach 45,000-mark for First Time, Nifty Tops 13,250

Equity benchmark Sensex rallied 447 points to close above the 45,000-level for the first time on Friday, tracking strong buying sentiment in financial stocks after RBI’s policy outcome. Earlier in the day, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) left interest rates unchanged for the third straight time amid persistently high inflation, but said the economy was recuperating fast and would return to positive growth in the current quarter itself.

After touching a record intra-day peak of 45,148.28, the 30-share BSE index ended 446.90 points or 1 per cent higher at 45,079.55. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty touched a new high of 13,280.05 during the session, before finishing 124.65 points or 0.95 per cent higher at 13,258.55 — its record closing high.

Rate-sensitive banking, financial, realty and auto stocks rallied after the policy announcement. ICICI Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising around 4 per cent, followed by UltraTech Cement, Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel, HUL, SBI, L&T, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank. On the other hand, Reliance Industries, Bajaj Finserv, HCL Tech and HDFC were among the laggards.

The RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) “decided to continue with the accommodative stance of monetary policy as long as necessary – at least through the current financial year and into the next year,” Governor Shaktikanta Das said. The central bank’s stance is “to revive growth on a durable basis, and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 while ensuring that inflation remains within the target going forward,” he added.

According to Gaurav Dua, SVP, Head – Capital Market Strategy and Investments, at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, growth remains high on the priority of RBI. “The commentary is dovish in spite of the elevated level of inflationary pressure. It essentially means the liquidity situation would be comfortable and interest rates likely to remain soft in the near term. However, we see limited scope for further easing of interest rates by banks to borrowers given the tapering of growth in retail deposits and rising credit demand in the economy,” he noted.

Overall, the policy outcome is supportive for equity markets in general and interest rate sensitive sectors and economic recovery plays in particular, he added. Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended on a positive note, while Tokyo was in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading with gains in early deals. Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude futures advanced 1.81 per cent to USD 49.59 per barrel.

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