India’s Sensex Gains, Buoyed by Shares of Private Lenders

India’s benchmark equity index rose, trimming its steepest monthly loss since May. The nation’s largest private-sector lenders, HDFC Bank Ltd. and ICICI Bank Ltd., provided today’s biggest boost.

The S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.8%% to 37,702.72 as of 10:21 a.m. in Mumbai. The index has lost 2.3% so far this month. The NSE Nifty 50 Index climbed by a similar magnitude today.

Lenders contributed most to gains in both measures ahead of a central bank policy meeting this week that’s expected to see interest rates kept on hold at close to a record low.

“With low interest rates globally, equities continue to have an edge over other asset classes,” said Kranthi Bathini, an investment adviser at WealthMills Securities Pvt. in Mumbai. An increase in coronavirus recoveries is also buoying sentiment, he said.

India’s economy is headed for its deepest recorded contraction, while coronavirus cases of close to 6 million are the second highest in the world. About 5 million people have recovered from the virus and the pace of weekly new infections is slowing, data shows.

Sovereign Indian bond traders will look forward to the government’s second-half borrowing plan, which is due by end-September, for any increase beyond the 12 trillion rupees ($163 billion) target for the year. The yield on 10-year government bonds was little changed at 6.04%, while the rupee was also little changed at 73.6175 per U.S. dollar.

The Numbers

  • Seventeen of 19 sector indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. rose, led by a gauge of power companies
  • Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. was the top gainer on Sensex, rising 4.1%, followed by Bajaj Finance Ltd. 3.7%; HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Housing Development Finance Corp. were among the biggest contributors to the measure’s advance

Market-related stories

  • CEO, Directors of Struggling India Bank Ousted by Shareholders
  • Bond Traders in India Brace for Borrowing Hike in Crucial Week

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