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Sensex trades flat, Nifty below 9,650 ahead of RBI policy outcome

RCom fell 3% after reports that Rating agencies Moody's and Fitch on Tuesday cut its rating again

Pranati Deva  |  New Delhi 

Image via Shutterstock
Image via Shutterstock

Benchmark indices erased morning gains to turn flat as investors stay cautious ahead of the EBI policy Decision due later today. According to analysts, the central bank may opt for a less hawkish tone and will leave interest rates unchanged as inflation is running well below forecasts, and the economy has slowed more than expected. Better than expected monsoon forecast by added to the gains.
Focus was also on Britain's general election as it maps its exit from the European Union. British Prime Minister Theresa May looks on course to increase her parliamentary majority in Thursday's poll. While the European Central Bank's policy meeting and former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before a Senate panel, kept the global stocks mixed.

At 2:01 pm, the S&P BSE was trading at 31,208, up 17 points, while the broader Nifty50 was ruling at 9,642, up 5 points.
In the broader market, the S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Smallcap indices gained  0.3% each.
"The indecisiveness near 9,700 has not caused any sharp loss in confidence so far, and the slippages so far have been held above last week’s peaks. While this suggests that bullish intent is still dominant, volatility could still dominate. If remians unsettled at 9,640, then 9,530/9,500 levels might come back in the reckoning," said Geojit Financial Services in a note.

Buzzing Stocks

GAIL, ICICI Bank, M&M, ITC and Bharti Airtel gained the most on BSE while Wipro, TCS, Dr Reddy's and Asian Paints lost the most on the index.

Bharti Airtel gained 1%, after the company received statutory approval on Tuesday from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for its proposed merger with the Indian unit of Norway's Telenor. 

RCom fell 3% after reports that Rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch on Tuesday cut its rating for the second time in a week, even as the telco received a seven-month respite from bankers on debt repayment. Moody’s cut its rating to ‘Ca’, which suggests the debt is highly speculative and likely in, or very near, default. Fitch lowered RCom’s rating to ‘RD’ from ‘CCC’. 

likely to keep rates unchanged
Reserve Bank Governor Urjit Patel- led Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will announce its interest rate decision later in the day amid the government pitching for a reduction in borrowing cost to help push private investments. Most analysts, however, expect no change in interest rates in view of more than $60 billion of excess liquidity in the system.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday made a case for cut in interest rates, saying inflation has been under control for long and is likely to remain so on the back of good monsoon while there is no likelihood of a spike in oil prices. India Inc is also pitching for a rate cut to boost GDP growth that fell to 7.1% in 2016-17 from 8% in the previous fiscal.
But the is likely for the July 1 rollout of the GST and assess the impact of the new indirect tax regime on inflation before tinkering with the policy rates. On April 6, the Reserve Bank had left its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 6.25% for the third monetary policy review in a row, citing upside risk to inflation.
raises monsoon forecast to 98%
Expectations of a normal monsoon were reinforced with the meteorological department raising its estimate of rainfall to 98% of the long period average (LPA). Making its second stage monsoon forecast for 2017, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday upgraded its projection from the earlier 96% forecast.  Rainfall during the June-September period monsoon season will be normal this year, Met department added.
Global Markets
were trading mixed as traders preferred to remain on the sidelines ahead of major political and economic event from the UK which is scheduled for Thursday.
With UK elections, an European Central Bank policy meeting where policymakers may take a less dovish stance, and former FBI director James Comey's Senate testimony on all set for Thursday, market participants will be wary of taking big positions.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged 0.2% lower, retreating further from a two-year high hit on Monday. Early such as Australia and Japan are pointed lower.
ended lower in overnight trade with Dow Jones down 0.23%, the S&P 500 losing 0.28%and the Nasdaq Composite falling 0.33%.