Sensex vaults 577 pts as RBI holds rate, lowers inflation forecast

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However, there was a twist in the tale as markets nosedived in the late afternoon session on the back of some fresh worries arising on the trade war between the USA and China. The move is likely to help banks bolster their financial results for the year and quarter ended March. A day after Sensex surged almost 600 points, investors traded cautiously as they looked to book profits ahead of the weekend. The Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange ended at 10,325.15, gaining 196.75 points or 1.94%. Bank stocks, which went out of favour in recent months due to a spate of scams and asset quality issues stole the limelight of Thursday.

HDFC Bank's chief economist Abheek Barua, however, feels that it was "an unexpectedly dovish policy with the RBI highlighting inflation risks (oil, procurement prices, HRA for government employees) but at the same time revising their forecasts downward".

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The 30-share index, moving in a tight range for the better part of the session on scattered deals, hit a low of 33,501.37 and a high of 33,697.51 before finishing at 33,626.97 points, up 30.17 points or 0.09 percent. The broader markets also participated in the rally as there were 2,083 stocks that advanced as against 627, which declined. It is understood that five of the six members of the committee voted in favour of holding the rate. It was followed by IDBI Bank (7.94 million), Unitech (5.26 million) and Jaiprakash Associates (4.13 million).

The apex bank projected CPI inflation for 2018-19 to stand at 4.7-5.1 percent in first half of 2018-19 and 4.4 percent in second half, including the HRA impact for central government employees, with risks tilted to the upside. The pace of growth in FY19 could be higher as investment activity picks up and global demand comes back, says RBI Governor Urjit Patel.