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India central bank surprises by holding both key interest rates steady

Mumbai, February 10 (Reuters): The Reserve Bank of India held its key lending rate steady at a record low, as expected, on Thursday, but surprised markets by also keeping its deposit rate unchanged as some economists had expected a hike to re-align it with short-term money market rates.

The monetary policy committee (MPC) held the lending rate, or the repo rate (INREPO=ECI), at 4%. The reverse repo rate (INRREP=ECI), or the key borrowing rate, was kept unchanged at 3.35%.

The MPC voted unanimously to maintain the status quo on the repo rate and by a majority of 5-1 to retain the accommodative policy stance.

“Overall, taking into consideration the outlook for inflation and growth, in particular the comfort provided by improving inflation outlook, the uncertainties related to Omicron and global spillovers, the MPC was of the view that continued policy support is warranted for a durable and broadbased recovery,” RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said in his address.

Respondents to a poll by Reuters on Feb. 2-4 had been closely split on the timing of a repo rate rise, with slightly more than half, 17 out of 32, expecting a 25-basis point increase to 4.25% in April. read more

Retail inflation accelerated to a five-month high of 5.59% in December from a year earlier, while wholesale price-based inflation, a proxy for producer prices, eased marginally to 13.56%, but remained in double-digits for nine straight months.

India’s 10-year benchmark bond yield fell 4 basis points to 6.7610 after the RBI policy decision, while rupee weakened against the dollar to 75.0275.

The NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) rose 0.27% to 17,511, as of 0445 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) was up 0.27% at 58,622.30.

The central bank has slashed the repo rate by a total of 115 basis points (bps) since March 2020 to soften the blow from the coronavirus pandemic and tough containment measures. The rate is now 250 bps below its level at the beginning of 2019, when the easing cycle began.

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by The Sen Times staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds.
Source: Reuters


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