Economy

India's Sensex plunges over 200 points; RBI keeps rates unchanged

India's Sensex plunges over 200 points; RBI keeps rates unchanged

30-share BSE Sensex lost 205.26 points to close on 32,597.18 while the broader 50-share NSE Nifty finished on 10,044.10, down by 74.15 points. First, the moderation in core inflation (inflation excluding food and fuel) observed in Q1 2017-18 has reversed and there is a risk that this upward trajectory may continue in the near-term.

Other Asian markets closed lower.

The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday kept the short-term lending rate, also known as repo rate, unchanged at 6 per cent in its fifth bi-monthly policy review of the fiscal year.

The RBI as well as private economists predict inflation will quicken to about 4.5 per cent by March 31, and swap traders are pricing in the possibility of an increase in the key policy rate next year even as most economists see no change.

Jayant Manglik President Retail Sales at Religare Securities said selective buy-on-dips is the preferred strategy at the current juncture.

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"The decision to keep the policy rate unchanged is in line with expectations".

10-year benchmark G-sec was trading at around 7.08% before the policy announcement, post which it fell by 5 bps closing at 7.03%.

The RBI has mopped up 900 billion rupees through open market bond sales between July and November, on top of debt sold by federal and state governments. It is expected to be in the range of 4.2-4.6 per cent this year. That's also contributing to a surge in prices, together with rising global oil costs and higher wages for government employees. In this index, the stocks who were in negative were - Union Bank at Rs 156 per piece (3.20%), followed by Canara Bank at Rs 366.30 per piece (2.02%), Bank of Baroda at Rs 166.75 per piece (1.91%), SBI at Rs 313.05 per piece (1.90%), PNB at Rs 172.85 per piece (1.76%) and Syndicate Bank at Rs 86.50 per piece (1.54%). European markets were trading lower at the time of writing this article. Sun Pharma emerged as the worst performer among Sensex constituents by falling 2.31 percent, while Bajaj Auto declined 1.65 percent.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (up 1.4 percent) and Infosys (0.6 percent) capped market's losses.

The mid-cap index shed 0.89 percent and small-cap declined 0.66 percent. Apart from that, HUL, HCL Technologies, Maruti Suzuki and Tech Mahindra gained more than 1 percent.


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