Indian markets opened positive and were trading strong, continuing to rise from the previous week on absence of any negative impact from the Union Budget 2017-18 and aided by a firm rally in global markets. The NSE Nifty topped the 8,800-mark for the first time in four months.
All the major sectoral indices were also in strong green zone, especially with the banks leading the rally, ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary and credit policy review meet due Tuesday-Wednesday.
BSE Sensex was up 0.68% at 28,432.24 points, while NSE Nifty was trading up 0.62% at 8,795.05 points, after hitting a high of 8,809.1 – its highest since October 5, 2016.
Earlier last week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed to relax the fiscal deficit limit for his government to 3.2% of GDP in order to enable higher public spending to boost investments and consumption. However, the relaxation from the earlier prescribed limit of 3% was not as steep as some had expected on account of a much-needed spending stimulus to the economy.
Further gains in the markets may be limited as traders would be cautious ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s review of monetary and credit policy on Tuesday-Wednesday, where the central bank is expected to hold the key policy rates in view of the accelerating retail inflation and a shrinking services sector. However, the government’s intent to maintain fiscal prudence may give it some room to provide the impetus required to facilitate the credit flow into the economy.
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Asian markets were trading positive in the morning, following strong US markets, which rose on good jobs report. The US economy added 227,000 jobs in January, topping the estimated 175,000, while the unemployment rate rose to 4.8%. European markets also ended higher.
Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India and IndusInd Bank were among the top five gainers leading NIfty. Ambuja Cements was the lone non-bank scrip among the top five. Dr Reddy’s Labs, Idea Cellular, HCL Tech, Aurobindo Pharma and Bosch were the top five losers.