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Sensex gains 250 points, Nifty nears 11,400 ahead of RBI policy outcome

NEW DELHI: Hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India later in the day buoyed domestic market sentiment in Friday's session. Possibility of a trade deal with the US and firm cues from global peers too lent support to the bulls back home.

The Reserve Bank of India is set to deliver a fifth straight interest rate cut Friday, although economists are unsure of the quantum following an unconventional 35 basis-point easing last time. The policy decision will be announced at 11:45 a.m. in Mumbai, followed by a press conference 15 minutes later by Das, Bloomberg reported.

In an interview on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said India is among the world's most protectionist countries but the United States is trying to negotiate a limited trade deal with the South Asian nation to resolve their differences.

The 30-share Sensex climbed 250 points to trade around 38,360 and NSE barometer NIfty advanced 70 points to 11,384. Broader markets also toed their headline peers as Nifty Midcap nudged 0.6 per cent higher and Nifty Smallcap inched up 0.4 per cent.

Barring Nifty Media, all sectoral indices traded in the green. Nifty Media was trading down 1.7 per cent dragged by Zee Entertainment and Hathway. Banking stocks were up ahead of the RBI policy decision.

Yes Bank continued Thursday’s exuberance and jumped further 6 per cent followed by RBL Bank that advanced 2.7 per cent on NSE. Federal Bank and ICICI Bank were trading in the red. Overall, Nifty Bank was up 0.8 per cent.

Twenty-six stocks in the Nifty50 pack advanced and 24 declined in the early trade.

US markets on Thursday closed higher after data showing US services-sector activity at a three-year low fueled expectations that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates to stem a wider economic downturn. Asian indices also followed course and edged higher.
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