Markets Vault After RBI’s Says It Strongly Supports India’s Policy Response to

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The BSE Sensex soared over 986 points on Friday after RBI’s second batch of stimulus measures lifted sentiment amid the coronavirus gloom.

Announcing a slew of liquidity-boosting measures for NBFCs and other segments, the RBI further eased bad-loan rules, froze dividend payments by lenders and pushed banks to lend more by cutting the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points.

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After starting over 1,116 points higher, the 30-share BSE Sensex pared some early gains to end 986.11 points or 3.22 per cent higher at 31,588.72.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty zoomed 273.95 points, or 3.03 per cent, to finish at 9,266.75.

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Axis Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, surging 13.45 percent, followed by ICICI Bank (9.89 percent), IndusInd Bank (9.13 percent), Maruti (7.36 percent), TCS (5.32 percent), Kotak Bank (4.96 percent)and Reliance Industries (4.86 percent).

On the other hand, Nestle India, HUL, Tech Mahindra and Sun Pharma ended in the red, shedding up to 3.15 per cent.

Interest rate-sensitive banking, financial, auto and realty indices on the BSE settled up to 6.83 per cent higher.

In his second televised address since the nationwide lockdown began on March 25, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das pledged to boost liquidity and expand bank credit.

He announced measures including a cut in the reverse repo rate, Rs 50,000-crore targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO) and refinancing facilities for Nabard, Sidbi and NHB.

The rupee rebounded 48 paise to provisionally settle at 76.39 against the US dollar, buoyed by RBI announcements.

During the holiday-shortened week, the Sensex rose 429.10 points or 1.37 per cent, while Nifty advanced 154.85 points or 1.69 per cent.

Market ended on a firm note tracking positive global cues and announcement of stimulus package by the RBI, said Sanjeev Zarbade, VP PCG Research, Kotak Securities.

Further, reports from the US that a drug from Gilead is showing great results in treating Covid-19 cases also led to positive sentiments, he added.

“NBFCs are clear beneficiaries of these measures. For investors in banks, the provision of higher liquidity and relaxation in provisioning norms are welcome, but the bar on dividend distribution and new provisioning norms are negatives for the time being.

“While the RBI is doing its part in providing reliefs in the current times, the street could keep expecting more and there could also be some concern about the time it would take for these measures to have an impact at the ground level,” said Deepak Jasani – Head Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

BSE bankex, finance, auto, realty, energy indices rallied up to 6.83 per cent, while FMCG and healthcare closed in the red.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices jumped up to 2.44 per cent.

TCS posted a smart gain of 5.32 per cent after the IT major on Thursday reported a marginal dip in March quarter net at Rs 8,049 crore.

On the global front, markets shrugged off China’s GDP contraction data and looked ahead to the gradual reopening of economies, including the US.

China’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 as the Covid-19 outbreak brought economic activity to a halt.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with significant gains. Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a strong note.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose marginally to USD 27.84 per barrel.

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 437, while the number of cases in the country climbed to 13,387.

Global tally of the infections has crossed 21 lakh, with over 1.45 lakh deaths.

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