Indian markets made marginal gains on Thursday, with the Bombay Stock Exchange closing 39.78 points higher at 28,329.70, while the National Stock Exchange Nifty ended 9.35 points up at 8,778.40. The BSE index plunged by more than 100 points in the morning trade – owing to selling pressures by investors in banking and metal stocks – before recovering.
Investors also remained cautious ahead of third quarter results declarations by 268 companies, Business Standard reported.
The BSE’s metal sub-index and the Nifty bank index fell by 0.73% and 0.47%. Firms such as National Aluminium Company, Hindalco Industries Limited and Tata Steel, as well as ICICI Bank and the State Bank of India ended in the red. Pharmaceutical companies were among the biggest gainers during intra-day trading, with Aurobindo Pharma Limited, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Lupin Limited gaining between 0.18% and 1.49%.
Market sentiment was also hit by the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to hold its interest rate steady at 6.25% for the second time. On Thursday, foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth Rs 127.69 crore, while domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 166.82 crore.
Meanwhile, Asian markets mostly rose on the back of gains by the United States’ Nasdaq, AP reported. While Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.1%, South Korea’s Kospi rose by 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite added 0.3%. However, Australia’s S&P ASX/200 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell by 0.2% and 0.5%.
In the Monetary Policy Committee’s latest review report, the RBI attributed its cautious stand to the impact of Brexit and the uncertainty around United States’ macroeconomic policy under the Donald Trump administration. The central bank pointed to dwindling confidence in global markets given the increasingly protectionist policies adopted by several major economies, as well as worldwide political instability.
The move to keep rates unchanged came despite widespread expectations of a rate cut, given the lower inflation rates and strong gross domestic product predictions.