Sensex sinks 792 points as RBI keeps repo rate unchanged, closes below 35k-mark

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The BSE Sensex plunged 792 points Friday to end at a near six-month low of 34,376.99 after the RBI unexpectedly maintained status quo on the policy rate but changed its stance to “calibrated tightening” amid the rupee breaching the 74-mark.

The central bank kept the interest rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent.

Sentiments were also bearish largely in tandem with a sell-off in global markets as US Treasury yields surged to multi-year highs on robust economic data and comments from the Federal Reserve, sparking fears of accelerating inflation, brokers said.

The Indian rupee Friday crashed below the 74-level against the US dollar for the first time ever after the Reserve Bank kept its key policy rate unchanged.

The domestic currency was quoting 65 paise lower at 74.23 (intra-day) against the dollar soon after the RBI announced its monetary policy.

The 30-share index remained in the negative zone through the session. Selling activity gathered momentum after the RBI kept rates unchanged but changed its stance to “calibrated tightening”. The benchmark hit a low of 34,202.22, before finishing 792.17 points, or 2.25 per cent down at 34,376.99.

Let’s take a look at top 10 losers on BSE:

  • HPCL plunged 25.18 per cent to settle at Rs 165.05.
  • BPCL cracked 21.11 per cent, settling at Rs 265.35.
  • GCM Capital Advisors tanked 20 per cent on BSE, finishing the day at Rs 1.68.
  • Kovilpatti Lakshmi Roller Flour Mills declined 16.81 per cent to Rs 38.60.
  • Indian Oil Corporation plunged 16.19 per cent to end at Rs 118.05.
  • ONGC plunged 15.93 per cent to Rs 146.95.
  • JTL Infra plunged 15.69 per cent to finish at Rs 98.85.
  • Jeevan Scientific Technology suffered a loss of 14.91 per cent. The stock settled at Rs 26.25 on BSE.
  • Frontline Securities tanked 13.85 per cent to Rs 60.
  • Prithvi Exchange (India) declined 13.67 per cent, finishing at Rs 36.
ONGC, Reliance Industries, Adani Ports, State Bank of India and Bharti Airtel stood as the top five losers in the Sensex index.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 5:1 in favour of a status quo, with only Chetan Ghate voting for a 0.25 per cent hike.

The MPC, headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel, said that the recent excise duty cut on petrol and diesel will help contain inflation.

RBI maintained growth estimate at 7.4 per cent for current fiscal and projected retail inflation to rise to 3.8-4.5 per cent in October-March.

Marketmen were expecting the six-member Monetary Policy Committee to go for at least a 0.25 per cent hike at the review.

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