Equity indices surge on rate cut hopes, healthy auto sales data

Hopes of a policy rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), coupled with broadly positive global cues and healthy buying in automobile, metal and healthcare stocks, lifted the key Indian equity indices — the NSE Nifty50 and the BSE Sensex — on Friday.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 56.50 points, or 0.57 per cent, to close at 9,974.40 points.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 31,769.34 points, closed at 31,892.23 points — up 161.74 points or 0.51 per cent from its previous close at 31,730.49 points.

The BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,602 advances and 990 declines.

In terms of the broader market indices, the S&P BSE mid-cap index was up 0.95 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.87 per cent.

According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, Indian shares and bonds rallied on Friday after much weaker-than-expected economic growth data raised hopes that the central bank would cut rates at its next meeting in October.

Official data released on Thursday evening showed that growth in the Indian economy during the first quarter of this fiscal fell to 5.7 per cent pulled down by sluggish manufacturing.

According to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter at Rs 31.10 lakh crore grew 5.7 per cent over the same quarter last year. During the previous quarter, the GDP had grown by 6.1 per cent.

“The weak growth is raising hope the RBI will cut its main policy repo rate at its next policy meeting in early October, after cutting it by 25 basis points last month. Realty, pharma and metal stocks rose,” Desai told IANS.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Despite weak Q1 GDP growth of 5.7 per cent, the market continued to stay on a positive terrain due to better auto sales and encouraging manufacturing data for the month of August.”

“On the other hand, investors are expecting knee jerk reaction from government to uplift the growth and they are largely focusing on long term benefit from GST than transitory hiccups,” he added.

A key macro-economic data released during market hours on Friday revealed that the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) — a composite indicator of manufacturing performance — stood at 51.2 in August, up from the index reading of 47.9 reported in July — signalling “a renewed improvement in the health of the sector”.

However, on the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 12 paise to 64.02-03 against the US dollar from its previous close at 63.90-91.

In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 832.81 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 731.72 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE automobile index surged by 458.83 points, followed by the metal index by 247.42 points and the healthcare index by 241.38 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE consumer durables index fell by 47.10 points, the IT index by 17.48 points and the Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index by 5.93 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Dr. Reddy’s Lab, up 9.75 per cent at Rs 2,217.35; Asian Paints, up 3.97 per cent at Rs 1,214.55; Bajaj Auto, up 3.92 per cent at Rs 2,918.65; Tata Motors, up 3.74 per cent at Rs 390.70; and Tata Motors (DVR), up 2.44 per cent at Rs 224.80.

Major Sensex losers were: Tata Consultancy Services, down 1.34 per cent at Rs 2,463.20; Bharti Airtel, down 1.26 per cent at Rs 422.45; Power Grid, down 1.17 per cent at Rs 215.80; HDFC, down 0.92 per cent at Rs 1,759.20; and Wipro, down 0.75 per cent at Rs 296.80.

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