Indian stocks marginally higher

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MUMBAI: Indian stock indices were marginally higher at Thursday’s opening bell, tracking positive cues from overnight US markets. The latest return of foreign portfolio investors to India also somewhat supported the stocks.

At 9.29 am, the Sensex was at 72386 points, up 234 points or 0.32 per cent, and Nifty was at 21,995 points, up 65 points or 0.30 per cent. Among the widely-tracked Nifty 50 stocks, 37 advanced, 12 declined, and the rest 1 was steady at the time of filing this report.

Investors kept track of the outcome of the three-day RBI monetary policy meeting and the forward guidance. The RBI typically conducts six bimonthly meetings in a financial year, where it deliberates interest rates, money supply, inflation outlook, and various macroeconomic indicators.

In its December meeting, the RBI unanimously decided to keep the policy repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent, thus maintaining the status quo for the fifth straight time.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its February review meeting is expected to again put a pause on the repo rate, according to SBI Research. The repo rate is the rate of interest at which RBI lends to other banks.

Barring the latest pauses, the RBI raised the repo rate by 250 basis points cumulatively to 6.5 per cent since May 2022 in the fight against inflation. Raising interest rates is a monetary policy instrument that typically helps suppress demand in the economy, thereby helping the inflation rate decline.

The retail inflation in India though is in RBI’s 2-6 per cent comfort level but is above the ideal 4 per cent scenario. In December, it was 5.69 per cent.

Coming to FPI inflows, after turning net buyers in January, foreign portfolio investors have again started accumulating Indian stocks this month. They have so far bought equities worth Rs 3,044 crore.

They had aggressively sold Indian stocks in January, turning net sellers in the Indian equity market, after making a beeline to accumulate domestic stocks during November and December. (ANI)

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