Indian benchmark indices opened flat ahead of key global events and after the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy review yesterday. BSE Sensex opened 45.63 points or 0.15% higher at 31,316.91 points, while NSE Nifty, the broader gauge, opened 18.50 points or 0.19% higher at 9,682.40 points. At 9:30 am, BSE Sensex was trading 39.18 points or 0.13% higher at 31,310.46 points while the NSE Nifty was up 10.50 points or 0.11% at 9,674.40 points.
The RBI kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.25 percent and cut SLR by 50 basis points to 20 percent. The monetary policy committee also cut its forecast for headline inflation to between 2.0 and 3.5 percent in the first half of the current fiscal year and between 3.5 and 4.5 percent in the second half.
On the progression of Monsoon, Indian Meteorological Department said that the South-West monsoon is expected to hit Maharashtra in a day or two.
The UK goes to vote today in an early general election announced by Prime Minister Theresa May in mid-April. The European Central Bank (ECB) is likely to keep the money taps fully open at its meeting on Thursday as inflation remains below its target despite stronger economic growth in the eurozone, said a Reuters report. The ECB is widely expected to keep policy unchanged, including its 2.3 trillion euro ($2.59 trillion) bond-buying program and sub-zero interest rates, despite resistance from cash-rich Germany, the report added.
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Asian markets were trading lower in early morning trade. The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.27 per cent. US stocks ended higher on Wednesday after a written testimony from former FBI director James Comey. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.46 points or 0.18 percent, to close at 21,173.69 points, the S&P 500 gained 3.81 points or 0.16 percent, to close at 2,433.14 points and the NASDAQ Composite added 22.32 points or 0.36 percent, to close at 6,297.38 points.
The Indian rupee retreated against the US dollar in early trade. It opened at 64.40, down 7 paise compared to its previous closing level of 64.33 a dollar. On Wednesday, the domestic currency closed at 64.33 against the dollar, close to 10 paise stronger than its previous close of 64.43, after the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision to keep the key repo rate unchanged at its monetary policy review.
US crude futures closed 5 per cent, or $2.47 a barrel lower, at $45.72 per barrel, the lowest close for US crude since 4 May after the US Crude inventories grew by 3.3 million barrels to 513 million barrels, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). US benchmark futures have fallen more than 11 per cent in 10 days of trading, said a Reuters report.