Indian shares close down after central bank holds rates steady
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares closed slightly lower on Friday after the country's central bank kept interest rates unchanged as widely expected and unveiled liquidity support measures, with investors focusing on rising inflationary pressures. 

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended down 0.1% at 15,670, and the S&P BSE Sensex closed down 0.25% at 52,100.05. 

For the week, both the indexes rose over 1% to their third straight week of gains.  

The country's benchmark 10-year bond yield ended at 6.032%, while the Indian rupee closed at 72.99 against the dollar, mostly flat.  

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) held the repo rate, its key lending rate, at 4% and kept the reverse repo rate, the borrowing rate, unchanged at 3.35%.   

Supply constraints due to coronavirus curbs and rising input costs, on the back of higher commodity prices, could fuel inflation, the RBI said. 

Analysts said there were no major surprises to lift the markets higher, even though the central bank assured ample liquidity.  

"There seems to be sufficient patience embedded in the guidance for the market not to worry about any imminent shifts in stance," said Suyash Choudhary, head – fixed income, IDFC AMC. 

On Friday, the Nifty bank index was the top drag, down 1%. 

The blue-chip Nifty 50 and the Sensex have risen over 5% each since the central bank's last meeting in April, boosted by robust corporate results and a fall in daily COVID-19 cases. 

Among individual shares, Spandana Sphoorty Financial jumped as much as 20% after reports that Axis Bank was in talks to buy the micro finance company. 

Shares of steel forgings maker Bharat Forge ended up about 8% after reporting a March-quarter profit, against a year-ago loss.  

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