The Indian equity benchmarks surged to fresh record highs on Friday ahead of Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy decision. State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Reliance Industries, HDFC, IndusInd Bank and ITC were among the top movers in the Sensex. The Sensex rose as much as 417 points to hit record high of 51,031.39 and Nifty 50 index moved above 15,000 mark for the first time.
As of 9:24 am, the Sensex was up 386 points at 50,949 and Nifty 50 index advanced 92 points to 14,987.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das-led Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will announce its policy decision on Friday, at the end of a scheduled review that began on Wednesday. This is the first meeting of the six-member MPC after Budget 2021. The Reserve Bank has slashed its key lending rate i.e. repo rate by 115 basis points since March 2020 to cushion the economy from the shock of coronavirus crisis.
The central bank had last cut its policy rate on May 22, 2020 when Covid-19 posed an unprecedented challenge to the economy. Since then, the banking regulator has maintained the repo rate – the key interest rate at which the RBI lends money to commercial banks – steady at a 19-year low of 4 per cent. The reverse repo rate – the rate at which the RBI borrows from banks – is at 3.35 per cent.
Buying was visible across sectors as all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading higher. Rate sensitive Nifty PSU Bank index was top gainer with over 7 per cent gain. Nifty Bank, Private Bank, Financial Service and Auto indexes rose between 0.6-2 per cent ahead of the policy decision.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also witnessing buying interest as the Niftty Midcap 100 and Smallcap 1000 indexes rose 1 per cent each.