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Stock markets hit new peaks as RBI upgrades growth forecast

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MUMBAI, Dec 8: Benchmark Sensex and Nifty rebounded to close at their new lifetime highs on Friday after the Reserve Bank raised the growth forecast for the current fiscal and kept policy rates unchanged, triggering heavy buying in banking and other rate-sensitive stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 303.91 points, or 0.44 per cent, to hit its new peak of 69,825.60. The index touched the highest intra-day level of 69,893.80.

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The broader index Nifty also climbed 68.25 points or 0.33 per cent to reach a fresh record high of 20,969.40.

Among major Sensex movers, HCL Tech logged the biggest gain of 2.69 per cent, followed by JSW Steel (2.44 per cent) and Infosys (1.67 per cent. Other gainers included HDFC Bank, Titan, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank.

In contrast, ITC, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bajaj Finance were among the laggards.

“The RBI took a balanced approach by raising the economic growth forecast and also expressing concern on food inflation, which may have an elevated trajectory in the short term. A drop in rabi sowing and dipping reservoir levels provides a perception that foodgrain prices can rise. The impact was visible on FMCG stocks, which underperformed today,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

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Foreign institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 1,564.03 crore on Thursday, according to exchange data.

The six-member Monetary Policy Committee of the RBI on Friday decided to keep the benchmark repurchase (repo) rate at 6.5 per cent.

The central bank raised its forecast for economic growth to 7 per cent from 6.5 per cent, maintaining India’s position as the world’s fastest-growing major economy, after a stronger-than-expected 7.6 per cent growth in the July-September quarter.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai Composite gained 0.11 per cent, while the Nikkei 225 and Hang Seng fell by 1.68 per cent and 0.15 per cent, respectively.

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European markets were trading higher with France’s CAC 40 gaining by 0.91 per cent and London’s FTSE 100 rising by 0.55 per cent. Germany’s DAX was trading 0.39 per cent higher.

The US markets ended with significant gains in overnight trade on Thursday, with the Nasdaq rallying more than 1 per cent.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.62 per cent higher to USD 75.25 a barrel.

On Thursday, the 30-share index fell 132.04 points, or 0.19 per cent, to close at 69,521.69. Nifty declined 36.55 points, or 0.17 per cent, to settle at 20,901.15. (PTI)

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