Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) key index rose on Friday, snapping a two- day decline, as ICICI Bank Ltd led financial companies higher on expectations the central bank may cut interest rates to boost economic growth.
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State Bank of India (SBI) added 3.2% to its highest close in a month. HDFC Bank Ltd added 1.1%.
“We expect a 50-100 basis points cut in rates by April,” said Navneet Munot, who oversees $5.5 billion (about Rs26,790 crore) as chief investment officer at SBI Asset Management Co. Ltd in Mumbai.
The Sensex advanced 168.91 points, or 1.8%, to 9,634.74. The index gained 3.6% this week. The S&P CNX Nifty index on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) added 55.30 points, or 1.9% to 2,948.35.
ICICI gained 3.1% to Rs434.40. SBI rose 3.2% to Rs1,195.90, the highest since 14 January. HDFC Bank added 1.1% to Rs944.15. The share prices are composite of BSE and NSE rates.
The government will continue efforts to stimulate bank lending and bolster growth, commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath told reporters in New Delhi on Friday. Separately, Suresh Tendulkar, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, said that an interest rate cut was desirable to stimulate economic growth.
Inflation slowed to a one-year low, prompting speculation that borrowing costs will be lowered. Wholesale prices climbed 4.39% in the last week of January from a year earlier after gaining 5.07% the previous week, the commerce ministry said on Thursday. Economists expected an increase of 4.41%.
Tata Steel Ltd led commodity producers higher on optimism China’s economy is showing signs that a 4 trillion yuan (Rs29 trillion) stimulus package is taking effect. The world’s third biggest economy may expand 6.6% in the second quarter after slowing to 6.3% in the three months to 31 March, according to the median estimates of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. China is the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals, including steel, copper and aluminium.
Tata Steel added 4.6% to Rs194.15. Steel Authority of India Ltd climbed 3.5% to Rs90.65. Hindalco Industries Ltd rose 1.3% to Rs45.75. Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd added 2.5% to Rs275.40.