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Indian Indices Start Week Strong, RBI Decides Interest Rates, and Top Stocks in Action
Wed, 4 Oct Pre-Open | Prasheel Vartak, TM Team

On Thursday, share markets in India witnessed positive momentum throughout the day and ended strongly in green.

The BSE Sensex closed higher by 214 points to end at 31,497 while the broader NSE Nifty ended the day up by 71 point to close at 9,860.

Among BSE sectoral indices, consumer durables index rose the most by 2.2%, followed by oil and gas stocks 1.3s%. Tata Motors, Asian Paints, and Reliance Industries were among the top gainers.

Top Stocks in Action Today

Reliance Communications (RCom) is likely to witness action today after the company called off the merger of its wireless services business with Aircel Ltd, citing regulatory delays and opposition from some creditors, in a development that will further impede its efforts to pare its huge debt.

RCom said it is now looking at alternative ways to reduce its debt, including sale of real estate assets and "optimization of spectrum".

Godrej Industries share price is likely to be in focus today after its unit, Godrej Agrovet Ltd set a price range of Rs 450-460 a share for its initial public offering (IPO) to raise up to Rs 11.6 billion.

The animal-feed producer is selling new shares worth up to Rs 29.2 billion in the IPO, while its main shareholder Godrej Industries is selling secondary shares of up to Rs 3 billion.

Banking stocks will be in focus today as the RBI's Monetary Policy committee (MPC), is set to conclude its bi-monthly meeting today. The MPC's decision on interest rates will be a key factor to watch out for.

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RBI's Interest Rates Decision Today

The RBI's MPC's two-day meeting is set to conclude today, with a decision on key interest rates in the offing.

The fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2017-18, to be released today, is being keenly awaited by all stakeholders - especially the industry which has been demanding for lower interest rates.

Various bankers, including the SBI, however, are of the view that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would maintain status quo as inflation has risen. A SBI report said that the RBI is likely to maintain status quo on key lending rate at today's policy review as it is "stuck in a conundrum" of low growth, mild inflation and global uncertainties.

In its last policy review in August, the RBI had reduced the repo rate by 0.25% to 6%, citing reduction in inflation risks. The rate cut was the first in 10 months and brought the policy rates to a near 7-year low.

However, retail inflation rose to a five-month high of 3.36% in August due to costlier vegetables and fruits. Consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation was 2.36% in July.

Indian GDP growth hit a three-year low of 5.7% in the June quarter. The aftereffects of Notebandi and the Goods and Service Tax (GST) were mainly responsible for the slowdown. The growth was much lower than analyst estimates of around 6.6%.

The industry hopes for the RBI to cut rates to spur growth.

Global Markets Upbeat Over Positive Data

Global stock markets were more or less positive amid fresh macroeconomic data from the US. Positive factory data from the US meant that Wall Street closed at record high levels yet again. European markets too were in green as the UK's FTSE continued its positive streak.

IPO Buzz

Godrej Agrovert is set to open its initial public offer (IPO) today. The agri-business unit of Godrej Industries Ltd is aiming to raise around Rs 11.5 billion through the share sale, which will close on 6 October.

The animal-feed producer is selling new shares worth up to Rs 29.2 billion in the IPO, while its main shareholder Godrej Industries is selling secondary shares of up to Rs 3 billion.

Meanwhile, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares that will see the government selling a tenth of the military aircraft maker. The government, which fully owns HAL, is seeking to sell about 36.2 million shares in the IPO, according to a company filing with the capital markets regulator.

IPOs are all the rage in the share markets these days. With new companies listing by the day, all with promises of superior returns.

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