Indian stocks firm after US central bank hints possible rate cut in 2024

Indian Stocks

NEW DELHI: Indian stock indices traded firm Thursday after the opening bell, tracking a global stock rally after the US Federal Reserve, in its latest monetary policy review meeting, maintained its projection of three rate cuts this year.

At 10.09 am, Sensex was at 72,724.62 points, 622.93 points or 0.86 per cent, Nifty was 22,034.05 points, up 194.95 points or 0.89 per cent. Among the widely-tracked Nifty 50 stocks, 47 advanced, and the rest were in the red at the time of filing this report.

The US Federal Reserve, in its March meeting, voted to leave the key interest rate unchanged at 5.25-5.50 per cent, keeping the policy rate unchanged for the fifth straight time on the trot. The US central bank stayed on track for three interest rate cuts this year and affirmed that solid economic growth will continue.

The Committee does not expect it will be appropriate to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably towards 2 percent.

The US Federal Reserve’s commitment has been to bring down consumer inflation to its target of 2 per cent. The inflation rate in the US is now over 3 per cent.

“The uncertainty regarding the Fed decision is over with the Fed keeping the rates unchanged and refraining from a hawkish message. The Fed chief’s statement that “inflation has eased substantially while the labour market has remained strong” conveys conviction about the soft landing of the US economy and the possibility of probably three rate cuts this year. The response from the market was the US indices racing to record highs,” said VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.

Back home, foreign portfolio investors continue to remain net buyers in India. This also buoyed the stocks.

Foreign portfolio investors who had aggressively sold Indian stocks and turned net sellers in the Indian equity market in January 2024 became net buyers in February and March. This has also likely buoyed the stocks of late.

So far in March, they bought stocks in India worth Rs 41,668 crore, the latest data from the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) showed. (ANI)

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