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MARKETS ON THURSDAY: Sensex up 578 pts; RBI holds rates; inflation outlook cut

SI Reporter/New Delhi 05 Apr 18 | 03:30 PM

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Markets ended over 1.5% higher on Thursday after the Reserve Bank of India kept the repo rate unchanged at 6% in the first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meet of FY19.

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The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 33,597, up 578 points while the broader Nifty50 index settled at 10,325, up 197 points.

The MPC had started its 2-day meeting on Wednesday amid little hope of a rate cut, given a hardening in global crude oil prices.

The RBI has maintained the status-quo on the key short-term borrowing rate (repo) in its last three policy meets. The benchmark lending rate was reduced by 0.25 percentage points to 6 per cent last August, bringing it to a 6-year low.

Among other economic data, India's services industry returned to growth in March as new business picked up on improved demand, a private survey showed on Thursday, encouraging firms to hire at the fastest pace in nearly seven years. After taking a big hit in February, the Nikkei/IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers' Index managed to narrowly push back above the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction, rising to 50.3 last month from 47.8.

GLOBAL MARKETS

In global markets, Asian shares bounced from two-month lows on Thursday as world equities recovered from a selloff triggered by escalating Sino-US trade tensions, with investors hoping a full-blown trade war between the world’s two biggest economies can be averted.

Sentiment was lifted as the United States expressed willingness to negotiate a resolution to the trade fight after the proposed US tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods prompted a quick response from Beijing that it would retaliate by targeting key American imports.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5 per cent, a day after it hit its lowest in almost two months. Trade-dependent Singapore's Straits Times Index rose more than 2.0 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei gained 1.6 per cent while markets in mainland China, and those in Hong Kong and Taiwan, are closed for the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday on Thursday.

(with inputs from Reuters)

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Sensex

Company Price Gain (%)
Vedanta211.654.47
Adani Ports384.503.95
ITC283.453.66
Bharti Airtel357.303.40
ICICI Bank275.003.38

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