INDIA’S STOCK INDICES JUMP, RUPEE GAINS MORE
Bullish trends as Federal Reserve expected to slow pace of interest rate hikes
MUMBAI: India’s key equity indices jumped on Thursday, their fourth straight session of gains, amid expectations the US Federal Reserve would slow its pace of interest rate increases.
Doubts about the Fed’s future tightening also spurred the domestic currency, with the rupee vaulting 74 paise on Thursday’s trade.
The Sensex settled 453.46 points up or 1.27 per cent at 36,170.41, from its previous close of 35,716.95. It touched an intraday high of 36,253.85 and a low of 35,946.24. The Nifty50 gained 129.85 points or 1.21 per cent to finish at 10,858.70.
Top gainers on the Sensex were Bajaj Auto, which rose over 4 per cent, while Kotak Mahindra Bank, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Vedanta gained in a range of 2 to 4 per cent.
Power Grid lost 1.17 per cent the most on the Sensex - followed by NTPC, ONGC and Coal India.
The financials, which led the gains, were up over 1.5 per cent while selling pressure was witnessed in the export-dependent IT stocks as the rupee strengthened to Rs69.88 per US dollar from its previous close of 70.62. The Brent crude oil price also declined to $57.94 a barrel.
“In its earlier meetings, the Fed had a hawkish stance, which meant that they could be going in for a rate hike every quarter; but now the Fed seems more flexible, clear from its dovish remarks, which have hurt the dollar,” Anindya Banerjee, Deputy Vice President for Currency and Interest Rates with Kotak Securities, told IANS.
“This is partly the reason the rupee has gained strength against the US dollar. Also, a constant decline in global crude oil prices has aided the rupee’s gains.”
FUEL PRICES DOWN
Petrol prices touched the lowest level in the ongoing financial year across the four metro cities - Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
In the national capital, petrol price fell to Rs73.57 per litre against Tuesday’s level of Rs74.07 per litre, according to data on the Indian Oil Corp’s website. The price in Delhi was the lowest recorded level in FY 2018-19 so far, with the previous low being Rs73.73 in April 1.
In the other metro cities too petrol prices fell by around 50 paise from Tuesday and recorded the lowest prices in the current fiscal.
Prices in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were Rs75.57, Rs79.12 and Rs76.35 per litre, respectively, against the previous levels of Rs76.06, Rs79.62 and Rs76.88 per litre.
The previous lows for the current fiscal in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were Rs76.44, Rs81.59 and Rs76.48 per litre recorded in April 1.
Diesel prices also declined on Wednesday in tandem with cost of petrol.
In Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, diesel was sold for Rs68.49, Rs70.34, Rs71.71 and Rs72.34, respectively, compared to Rs68.89, Rs70.74, Rs72.13 and Rs72.77 per litre.
The fall in domestic fuel prices comes amid the recent decline in crude oil prices.
As per the country’s dynamic pricing mechanism, the domestic fuel prices depend upon international fuel prices on a 15-day average and the value of the rupee.