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Markets end modestly higher as RBI policy meet begins

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Benchmark equity indices ended marginally higher after a choppy session yesterday, with investors largely remaining on the sidelines as the RBI's monetary policy review meeting got underway.

Lack of cues from overseas markets also affected the momentum, traders said.

After a subdued opening, the 30-share Sensex ended 34.07 points, or 0.09 %, higher at 36,616.81. Similarly, the NSE Nifty edged up 22.10 points, or 0.20 %, to 10,934.35.

In the Sensex pack, Hero MotoCorp, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Auto, Maruti and M&M were the top gainers, spurting up to 2.66 %.

On the other hand, Tata Motors, Coal India, ONGC, Tata Steel, Yes Bank, Sun Pharma, ITC and ICICI Bank fell up to 2.63 %.

Investors were awaiting cues from the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy review, traders said.

"Market was volatile and faced stiff resistance at 10,950 levels. However, investors got bargaining opportunity in auto and private banks post the January auto sales and in expectation of dovish RBI monetary policy," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

RBI to announce decision on Thursday
The RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) yesterday began 3-day meet to decide on key rates amid expectations it would change stance to neutral on low inflation but may not cut rates due to fiscal challenges and rising oil prices.

The six-member MPC, headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, will meet between February 5 and February 7 for the sixth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2018-19. Deviating from the practice of releasing the resolution of MPC in afternoon, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will place it on its website at 11.45 am on February 7.

According to experts, the MPC is likely to change its policy stance to 'neutral' from the current 'calibrated tightening' in its meeting this week on low inflation footprint but would refrain from cutting interest rates due to fiscal challenges and rising crude oil prices.

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