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Banks in demand as November inflation eases

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(up 2.24%), (up 1.99%), State (up 1.91%), (up 1.89%), Bank of India (up 1.78%), (up 1.77%), (up 1.33%), (up 1.31%), (up 1.25%), (up 1.15%), (up 0.92%) and Canara Bank (up 0.41%), edged higher.

The Bankex was up 0.91% at 14,215.07. It outperformed the Sensex, which was up 0.44% at 19,314.47.

The BSE Bankex had outperformed the market over the past one month till 13 December 2012, rising 6.27% compared with the Sensex's 3.28% rise. The index had also outperformed the market in past one quarter, gaining 20.36% as against Sensex's 6.70% rise.

The annual rate of inflation based on the monthly wholesale price index (WPI) eased at 7.24% in November 2012 from 7.45% in October 2012, data released by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry today, 14 December 2012, showed.

The government revised upwards WPI inflation for September 2012 to 8.07% from 7.81% reported on 15 October 2012. Build up inflation in the financial year so far was 4.84% compared to a build up of 5.28% in the corresponding period of the previous year, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry said in a statement.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D Subbarao, on 6 December 2012, said that current rate of inflation at 7.5% is still high while economic growth has slowed sharply. Subbarao said he expects inflation to start moderating from the January-March 2013 quarter, reiterating the guidance the central bank had given at its rate-setting meeting on 30 October 2012.

RBI undertakes mid-quarter monetary policy review on Tuesday, 18 December 2012. After Second Quarter Review of Monetary Policy 2012-13 on 30 October 2012, RBI kept its key policy rate viz. the repo rate unchanged at 8% citing high inflation. At that time, the central bank announced a reduction in cash reserve ratio (CRR) requirement of scheduled commercial banks by 25 basis points to 4.25%. The baseline scenario suggests a reasonable likelihood of further policy easing in Q4 March 2013, RBI said on 30 October 2012. RBI said that the policy guidance will, however, be conditioned by the evolving growth-inflation dynamic.

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