Equity benchmarks ended modestly higher on Friday after the Reserve Bank raised the key interest rate in an effort to cool stubbornly high inflation and defend the rupee. Continuous foreign fund inflows into the capital markets and softening crude oil prices also helped the bourses regain momentum, traders said.
The 30-share BSE Sensex ended 89.13 points or 0.15 percent higher at 58,387.93 after facing volatility during the fag-end of trade. During the day, it climbed 350.39 points or 0.60 percent to 58,649.19. The broader NSE Nifty went up by 15.50 points or 0.09 percent to finish at 17,397.50.
The Reserve Bank on Friday raised the key interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.40 percent — the third straight increase since May. With the latest hike, the repo rate, or the short-term lending rate at which banks borrow has crossed the pre-pandemic level of 5.15 percent.
“The 50 bps rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India today is broadly in line with the consensus expectations,” said Sujan Hajra – Chief Economist and Executive Director, Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.
Among the Sensex constituents, UltraTech Cement, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, Power Grid, Infosys, Wipro and Axis Bank were the major gainers. Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti, Reliance Industries and IndusInd Bank were among the laggards.
In Asia, markets in Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong ended in the green. European stocks were trading lower during mid-session deals. The US markets had ended on a mixed note on Thursday.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude went higher by 0.18 percent to USD 94.29 per barrel. Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital markets as they bought shares worth Rs 1,474.77 crore on Thursday, as per exchange data.