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Indian shares rise, rupee slips after central bank holds key rates steady

Indian shares rose on Wednesday after the central bank kept key interest rates unchanged.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Dubai: Indian shares rose on Wednesday after the central bank kept key interest rates unchanged, as widely expected, to support the economy against the backdrop of a second surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stuck to its accommodative monetary policy stance amid concerns that rising infections could derail the country’s nascent economic recovery.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 1.1% to 14,851 and the S&P BSE Sensex was up 1.2% at 49,765.67 by 0613 GMT.

The benchmark 10-year bond yield rose to 6.19% post-policy, before falling back to 6.06% after the central bank announced a secondary market government securities (G-sec) acquisition programme.

“All the announcements made by the RBI, including government borrowing programmes, evolution of the yield curve and long-term bond purchases, are good for the markets,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president of research at SMC Global Securities in New Delhi.

Rupee weakens

“The governor explicitly said that liquidity will not be taken away from the markets, which is also good.” The Indian rupee weakened to 74.04 against the dollar after the rate decision, hitting its weakest level since November 27.

The G-sec acquisition programme, which the bond market needed the most, could help to cool off bond yields and support the government’s market borrowing programme, said Deepthi Mathew, an economist at Geojit Financial Services.

The Nifty bank index and the auto index rose 1.3% each. Heavyweight Reliance Industries was the top boost to the Nifty 50 index, rising 2.5%.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund said unprecedented public spending to fight the pandemic would push global growth to 6% this year, while projecting India’s growth rate at 12.5% for 2021.

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