Indian shares ended flat on Friday, recovering from earlier losses as banks and real estate stocks received a boost from the country’s central bank standing pat on rates, while IT stocks dropped amid uncertainty around U.S interest rate cuts.

The BSE benchmark Sensex rose 20 points or 0.03% to settle at 74,248. The NSE Nifty gained 11 points or 0.05% to end at 22,525.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) maintained its main lending rate at 6.50% for the seventh straight policy.

Robust growth provided space for monetary policy to remain focussed on bringing inflation down to the RBI’s 4% target, Governor Shaktikanta Das said.

US-rate-sensitive IT stocks dropped up to 1.2% as comments from Federal Reserve officials on Thursday added to worries that the US central bank could delay rate cuts.

On the other hand, domestic rate-sensitive realty stocks climbed up to 4.3% and were the top sectoral gainers.While the benchmark indices were muted, the broader Nifty Smallcap100 and Nifty Midcap100 rose 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively.Top private sector lender HDFC Bank gained 1.4%, while Kotak Bank was the Sensex top gainer with a rise of 2.1%.

Among individual stocks, real estate developer Puravankara rose 5% after posting its highest-ever annual sales in fiscal year 2024. Non-bank lender Aavas Financiers rose 10% on a strong business update.

Expert Views

“Although the RBI policy meeting unfolded as anticipated, concerns over food inflation and warnings of a heat wave tampered sentiment. While the main domestic indices concluded with marginal movement, the Bank Nifty edged higher, propelled by robust credit growth in Q4FY24,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

“The global sentiment was dampened by the rise in oil prices and tensions in the Middle East. Investors remain attentive to upcoming US non-farm payroll and unemployment data, seeking clarity on the Federal Reserve’s future rate path,” Nair added.

Rupak De, senior technical analyst at LKP Securities, said, “The index has remained sideways throughout the session, reflecting a pause in the market trend following the formation of a Hanging Man pattern. The sentiment may continue to remain sideways due to the lack of a directional breakout or pattern formation.”

Global Markets

Global shares retreated on Friday as geopolitical tension kept crude oil above $90 a barrel ahead of US payroll numbers, and hawkish central bankers raised doubts about the pace and timing of interest rate cuts.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.45%, tracking a late tumble on Wall Street as risk aversion dominated the market mood. Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 0.6%.

In Europe, the STOXX index of 600 companies dropped 1.2% to 504.7 points, after Tuesday’s lifetime high of 515.77 points.

Crude Oil

Oil prices extended gains on Friday and headed for second weekly gains, supported by geopolitical tensions in Europe and the Middle East, concerns over tightening supply and optimism about global fuel demand growth as economies improve.

Brent crude climbed 36 cents, or 0.4%, to $91.01 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $86.8 a barrel, up 21 cents, or 0.24%.

Rupee Ends Higher

The Indian rupee rose on Friday, bolstered by dollar sales from foreign and state-run banks after the Indian central bank kept rates unchanged for a seventh consecutive meeting.

The rupee closed at 83.2950 against the U.S. dollar, up nearly 0.2% compared with its close of 83.4375 in the previous session.

(With inputs from agencies)


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