Stocks rise ahead of RBI governor address

Stocks rise ahead of RBI governor address

People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai. (Credit: Reuters)

Indian shares rose in early trade on Friday, a day after the government announced a relief package to help the poor cope with widespread disruptions from a coronavirus-triggered lockdown, as investors hoped for more stimulus measures from the country's central bank.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das is expected to address the media at 10 AM local time on Friday. Many largely expect the central bank to cut interest rates to help tide an already slowing economy threatened by the pandemic.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 4.24% to 9,024.70 by 0345 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex advanced 3.78% to 30,917.15.

To ease the economic pain, the government on Thursday announced a $22.6 billion stimulus plan that provides direct cash transfers and food security measures.

Indian stocks, which touched multi-year lows this month, have recovered over the last three sessions as global sentiment improved as governments unveiled stimulus plans to help economies cope with the fallout of the pandemic.

In India, the death toll from the coronavirus rose by six to 16 on Thursday.

Meanwhile, broader Asian stocks edged higher as investors bet that policymakers will roll out more stimulus measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.2% on Friday.

In Mumbai's main stock indexes, financial stocks were the biggest boost with the NSE Bank index surging over 6%.

Shares of Yes Bank Ltd soared 10% in early trade. The lender on Thursday said it was looking to raise up to 50 billion rupees ($665.88 million) in an effort to shore up its capital base.

Meanwhile, the rupee was stronger by 0.4% at 74.6900 against the dollar but still hovered around its all-time lows that it hit earlier this week.

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