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  1. Sensex, Nifty dive as RBI MPC minutes indicate hawkish stance; bond yields spike, rupee crumbles

Sensex, Nifty dive as RBI MPC minutes indicate hawkish stance; bond yields spike, rupee crumbles

Indian stock markets fell into negative territory on Friday as minutes of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy panel meeting indicated that they were likely to take a more hawkish stance in June.

By: | Published: April 20, 2018 10:02 AM
Shares of India’s IT behemoth TCS topped the Sensex after the market cap leader reported better-than-expected earnings for the quarter ended 31 March 2018. (Image: PTI)

Indian stock markets fell into negative territory on Friday as minutes of the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy panel meeting indicated that they were likely to take a more hawkish stance in June. The BSE Sensex dropped to a day’s low of 34,370.07, down by 57 points while NSE Nifty tripped below 10,550 to mark a bottom of 10,546.3 on Friday. The sentiments of market participants were also dejected after the US stock markets finished the day in red on Thursday.

In the minutes of the last meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, the Reserve Bank of India’s Deputy Governor Viral Acharya favoured withdrawal of monetary accommodation in the next policy review meeting scheduled on June 4-5. The two-day six-member Monetary Policy Committee, chaired by RBI Governor Urjit Patel, left the benchmark repo rate unchanged for the third time in a row on 5 April 2018, citing inflationary concerns.

Shares of India’s IT behemoth TCS topped the Sensex after the market cap leader reported better-than-expected earnings for the quarter ended 31 March 2018. The stock TCS rose as much as 4.21% to an all-time high of Rs 3,325 on BSE. Tata Consultancy Services announced a bonus issue of equity shares in a ratio 1:1 and a final dividend of Rs 29 per equity share. Shares of Infosys and Wipro also surged more than 2% today. Other major gainers were Tata Motors and Coal India. Shares of Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, State Bank of India, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, HDFC and M&M shed up to 2%.

Meanwhile, Indian bond yields spiked while the rupee dropped to its lowest in more than a year on Friday after the minutes of the MPC meeting. The Reserve Bank of India’s MPC members flagged several concerns, including an increase in minimum support prices for farmers and high and volatile crude oil prices. The Indian rupee was at 66.02 per US dollar versus its previous close of 65.7950. The rupee touched 66.08 in early deals, its weakest level since March 14, 2017, Reuters said in a report. The benchmark 10-year bond yield was up 17 basis points at 7.80%, Reuters added.

Wall Street’s three major indexes declined on Thursday with tobacco stocks leading a tumble in consumer staples while concerns about smartphone demand hurt the technology sector and rising bond yields and earnings helped financials rebound, Reuters reported. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 83.4 points or 0.34% to 24,664.67, the S&P 500 lost 15.51 points or 0.57% to 2,693.13 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 57.18 points or 0.78% to 7,238.06.

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