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Sensex, Nifty consolidate; IT leads, Coal India down 4%


TheNewsInternational Team

02:59 pm Market Update:

The Sensex declined 44.52 points to 27833.75 and the Nifty fell 11.10 points to 8466.20. About 1567 shares have advanced, 1228 shares declined, and 117 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

02:45 pm ICICI CEO on rate cut:
With inflation under control, lending rates will gradually come down as India is moving towards softer interest rate environment, largest private sector lender ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar said today.

ICICI Bank was the first lender to start cutting base lending rates, she said adding “a lot of transmission” of monetary easing to borrowers has already happened.

“… directionally we can say that a lot of factors and parameters have come under control, whether it is in current account (deficit) or fiscal side. Inflation is coming under control. So overall we are moving towards a softening interest rate environment,” she said.

Kochhar added “clearly a lot of transmission has happened because if you see when the monetary policy rates gets cut then the deposit rates fall and the deposit form a only part of cost of funds for the banks.”

She said 30 basis points (0.30 percent) rate cut has already happened “which is quite in line with the reduction in the cost of funds.”

The Reserve Bank of India has cut its benchmark rate by 75 basis points to 7.25 percent in three tranches so far this year.

02:25 pm Oil & gold forecast: The recent drop in crude oil was a result of OPEC deciding to increase its production, with a strong US dollar and Chinese economic weakness further adding to its woes, says commodity expert Mark Keenan of Societe Generale.

Keenan said he expects Brent crude prices to slide further in this quarter before bouncing back to trade higher from current levels.

For the next year, he sees crude averaging about USD 60 per barrel.

But he’s got bad news for gold. “Gold’s ability as a safe haven has disappointed. Last year, it fell despite a lot of uncertainty. It is likely to continue to fall,” he said.

“We see gold at USD 1050 per ounce toward the end of the year. It may average USD 1,000 next year.”

02:00 pm Market Check

Equity benchmarks recouped losses in afternoon trade, led by Infosys, TCS, State Bank of India and Larsen & Toubro. The Sensex gained 12.82 points at 27891.09 and the Nifty rose 3.65 points to 8480.95.

The broader markets continued to outperform benchmarks. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices climbed 0.7 percent each. About 1558 shares have advanced against 1185 shares declined on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Technology stocks like Infosys and TCS rallied 2 percent each. BNP Paribas gave thumbs up to Infosys after investor meetings with the CFO. The brokerage maintained its buy rating with the target price raised to Rs 1,320 on the back of a Q1 beat and a weaker rupee. TCS, too, rallied 1.9 percent.

Coal India and GAIL topped the selling list on Sensex, down 4 percent each.

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