Markets cheer reforms, slowing inflation; Banks gain on rate-cut hope

Indian stock markets ended in the green as investors were upbeat after the government announced a slew of reform measures on Thursday sending positive signals.

A cooling inflation also helped sentiment.

The Sensex ended at 19317 , up 0.46 percent and Nifty 5880, up 0.48 percent.

An easing in annual fuel and manufacturing inflation helped rein in price pressures. Reuters

India's wholesale inflation decelerated to its weakest level in 10 months in November, a positive sign for the struggling economy.

The wholesale price index (WPI), India 's main inflation gauge, rose 7.24 percent from a year earlier, below expectations for a rise of 7.6 percent and below October's 7.45 percent.

However, economists indicated that it is not a big enough slowdown to persuade the RBI to cut interest rates at next week's policy review.

An easing in annual fuel and manufacturing inflation helped rein in price pressures.

Stating the government is reaching the limits on providing fiscal or monetary stimulus, Chief Economic Adviser Raghuram Rajan today said the need of the hour was to improve investor confidence and create better environment for achieving sustainable growth.

Also a PTI report quoted a finance ministry official as saying that the government was confident of meeting the fiscal deficit target of 5.3 percent in the current financial year.

Steps taken to boost investments have already started showing green shoots of revival, he said.

Stocks in news

Stocks in rate-sensitive sectors such as banks and real estate are leading the gains on rising hopes the Reserve Bank of India will move towards easing interest rates starting early next year. ICICI Bank closed up 1.31 percent, SBI closed up 2.58 percent. DLF closed up 1.54 percent.

National Fertilizers closed up 1.62percent Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers gained 2.39 percent, while Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals gained 0.81 percent after the government approved a new policy to encourage investment in urea manufacturing.

Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airwayscontinued their rally and closed up 2.66 percent and 0.90 percent respectively egged on by Etihad stake buy buzz.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch upgrades its rating across cement stocks to 'buy' from 'neutral' or 'underperform', saying capacity will lag demand, while valuations are below previous up cycles. UltraTech Cements closed up 2.27 percent , Ambuja Cements closed up 0.27 percent and India Cements closed up 0.74 percent.

Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 20:37 PM

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