Business & Finance

Sensex, Nifty close at record highs before RBI meet

Mumbai | Benchmark equity indices ended at their lifetime highs on Monday, with the BSE Sensex rallying 553 points and the NSE Nifty surging 166 points on the emergence of broad-based buying after weak GDP data supported clamour for further rate cut by the RBI to boost the economy.

The 30-share Sensex also saw its all-time peak in intra-day trade at 40,308.90; while the 50-share Nifty rose to 12,103.05 during the session to mark its all-time high.

The BSE gauge swung 598 points during the session and finally settled 553.42 points, or 1.39 per cent, higher at 40,267.62. The broader NSE benchmark surged 165.75 points, or 1.39 per cent, to settle at 12,088.55.

Top Sensex gainers include Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, IndusInd Bank, HUL, and Maruti, rallying up to 5.87 per cent.

While, ICICI Bank, NTPC and ITC slipped up to 0.13 per cent.

According to traders, investors lapped up stocks amid expectations of an interest rate cut by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) this week, especially after a disappointing GDP print for the March quarter.

Data from Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that India’s economic growth rate slowed to five-year low of 5.8 per cent during January-March quarter of 2018-19.

The growth rate of the economy has weakened mainly due to poor performance in the farm sector as well as in the manufacturing sector.

The RBI may go for another round of rate cut, third in a row, on Thursday to prop up the economic growth which dropped to a five-year low in the final quarter of 2018-19, experts said.

The RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is slated to announce its bi-monthly policy on Thursday. The central bank had cut the short-term lending rate (repo rate) by 25 basis points each in its last two policy reviews.

The MPC headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das will meet for three days beginning June 3 to firm up the second bi-monthly monetary policy of the fiscal.

Besides, a strengthening rupee too boosted investor sentiment here, traders said.

The Indian rupee appreciated 38 paise to 69.32 against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, other Asian bourses ended on a mixed note, while Europe was trading in the red in opening deals.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.39 per cent to 62.23 per barrel.

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