BENGALURU, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Indian shares hit record highs
on Friday after the country's central bank kept interest rates
steady in the face of stubbornly high inflation, while also
retaining its accommodative monetary policy stance.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said
India's prospects have brightened with progress on COVID-19
vaccines, consumer confidence has turned positive and projected
real GDP for the current financial year to contract just 7.5%.
The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.80% at 13,239.05 as
of 0512 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.80% at
44,993.92. Both indexes hit record highs. The Indian rupee
strengthened to 73.72 against the dollar.
All 53 analysts and economists in a Reuters poll conducted
in November said they did not expect any change in rates at the
three-day policy meeting ending Friday.
"RBI has been extremely proactive in terms of providing
support to the economy and to the market in whichever way
possible," said Avneesh Sukhija, senior financial analyst at BNP
Today's decision marks a continuation from October's
decision of entering a revival mode from survival, Sukhija
Including today's session, the benchmark indexes have hit
record highs for 11 of the last 18 sessions, boosted by progress
in developing a working coronavirus vaccine. They added more
than 11% in November on record inflows from foreign
The RBI has already cut its key interest rate
by a total 115 basis points this year to revive growth and
cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rate-sensitive financial stocks also rose after the policy
announcement. The Nifty Banking index, which surged
nearly 24% in November, was up 1.27%.
UltraTech Cement Ltd rose as much as 6.2% to a
record high, a day after the cement manufacturer said it would
invest 54.77 billion rupees to expand capacity.
(Reporting by Chris Thomas and Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru;
Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)