Sensex slips 47 pts as RBI holds policy rate

Equity benchmarks opened lower on Thursday, with the Sensex falling more than 100 points on profit booking as investors maintained cautious stance ahead of outcome of RBI Monetary Policy Committee meet later today. The 30-share index crossed the 30,000-mark by surging 97.26 points, or 0.32%, to trade at 30,007.48, a level last seen on 4 March 2015 when it hit an intra-day high of 30,024.74.

Brokers said besides a weak trend in global markets after Federal Reserve meeting minutes suggested the U.S. central bank was considering tightening monetary policy, caution ahead of Reserve Bank's monetary policy to be announced later in the day influenced the sentiment. RBI however increased the reverse repo rate - which it pays to banks for parking funds with it - by 0.25% to 6%, narrowing the policy rate corridor.

The central bank also projected the GDP growth for the current fiscal at 7.4 per cent, up from 6.7 percent in 2016-17.

All the sectoral indices, led by consumer durables and realty, were trading in positive zone with gains up to 2.20%. "With no major surprises from RBI, markets stabilised, but will await the NPA resolution measures that are widely expected shortly".

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The Sensex was up by 64.02 points or 0.21 per cent at the Wednesday's closing.

Among other rate-sensitive counters, SBI tumbled 1.35% while ICICI Bank fell 1.40%.

In contrast, the BSE market breadth was marginally bullish - with 1,476 advances and 1,403 declines. Weak global cues also weighed. Further, the central bank is preparing to take next steps on banks' stressed assets, and will issue a corrective steps framework by mid-April, he said.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.20 per cent lower in yesterday's trade. China's Shanghai Index, however, rose 0.33 per cent. Frankfurt's DAX 30 fell 0.41% while Paris CAC 40 was down 0.07% in their early deals. London's FTSE shed 0.49 per cent.

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