Indian shares rise ahead of central bank address

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.43% to 14,558

  
People walk past at a screen displaying India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman before the budget, on a facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, February 1, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

People walk past at a screen displaying India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman before the budget, on a facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, February 1, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU: Indian shares opened higher on Wednesday, led by heavyweight financials, as market participants waited for an unscheduled address by the central bank governor where more pandemic relief measures are expected to be announced.

Local media, citing sources, has reported https://bityl.co/6gum that banks have requested the central bank to allow another moratorium on loan repayments, or a relaxation in the recognition and provisioning for bad loans, to protect lenders and creditors during the ferocious second wave of coronavirus infections in the country.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das will give an address at 0430 GMT, the central bank said on its Twitter account, without providing any further details. 

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.43% to 14,558 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.42% to 48,453.87 by 0351 GMT.

Both indexes had closed at their lowest level in more than a week on Tuesday, as domestic coronavirus cases surged past the grim milestone of 20 million.

Many states have imposed curfews and lockdowns, while the country's main opposition political party has called for a national lockdown.

In Mumbai trading, the Nifty Bank Index rose 0.45%, while the Nifty PSU Bank Index gained 0.82%.

HDFC Bank Ltd HDBK.NS rose 0.6% and was the top boost to the Nifty 50.

Broader Asian shares were flat, following an overnight sell-off in technology stocks on Wall Street, while talk of rising U.S. interest rates also dented sentiment. 

(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((AnuronKumar.Mitra@thomsonreuters.com; +91 99863 58469;))

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