Banks, tech stocks pull Indian shares higher ahead of cenbank decision

Indian shares advanced on Wednesday, lifted by technology and bank stocks tracking an overnight Wall Street rally, while investors awaited the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy decision.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index (NIFTY) was up 0.82% at 17,408.1 as of 0455 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) gained 0.83% to 58,286.56.

On Thursday, India’s central bank is expected to hold its repo rate steady, but increase its reverse repo rate as part of a process to reduce surplus liquidity poured into markets earlier in the pandemic.

Asian peers also rose as technology stocks followed Wall Street higher, ahead of a key inflation reading this week.

“It looks like Wall Street has accepted the fact that interest rates are going to rise, and that has seeped into domestic markets,” said Aishvarya Dadheech, fund manager at Ambit Asset Management in Mumbai.

“In India, I feel volatility is here to stay for at least two more months before we see clear skies, with key rate decisions and elections coming up.”

The blue-chip indexes were marginally lower on the month as of last close, dented by foreign outflows. For the year, they are down more than 0.5% each.

The Nifty IT index (CNXIT) climbed 1.5% in early trade.

Rate-sensitive bank stocks (BANKNIFTY) rose as much as 1.3%, boosted by a 1.8% rise in heavyweight private sector lender HDFC Bank (HDFCBANK).

On the other hand, steel producer Jindal Steel and Power (JINDALSTEL) dropped 5% after reporting profit below expectations. However, gains in National Aluminium (NATIONALUM) and Hindustan Copper (HINDCOPPER) on strong metal prices, lifted the Nifty Metal index (CNXMETAL) 1.1%.

Edible oil refiner Adani Wilmar (AWL) extended its listing gains, surging more than 17%.

Apple products distributor Redington (India) (REDINGTON) jumped 6.1% after quarterly profit doubled.

Transmission company Power Grid Corp (POWERGRID) was trading down 0.4% ahead of its quarterly results.

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