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India: indices gain for third straight week

On Friday, March 18, Indian benchmarks closed in positive territory as investors showed heightened interest in emerging market companies after recent announcements and decisions by global central banks, including those of the Federal Reserve System and the Bank of Japan.

Certain experts say that the central bank of India is likely to ease its monetary policy, cutting its benchmark rate 0.25% at a meeting scheduled for April 5.

The Nifty 50 increased 1.22% to 7,604.35, while the BSE Sensex rose 1.12% to 24,952.74. Both indicators gained 0.3% on the week, closing higher for the third consecutive week.

By 11:07 am GMT, USD/INR ticked up 0.05% to 66.521, while EUR/INR lost 0.56% to 74.9780. The 10-year bond yield edged up 0.09% to 7.526%.

Rice producer LT Foods spiked 8% after agreeing to purchase a unit from Hindustan Unilever for INR 205 mn (USD 3.1 mn).

Meanwhile, mining company NMDC advanced 1.5% ahead of an EGM of the board of directors due to be held on March 19. To remind, the board is expected to discuss a second interim dividend.

State-run O&G company Oil India outperformed the broader market, picking up 1.3% on news LIC purchased 2% of its shares on the open market.

From a technical standpoint, the BSE Sensex approached the 24,982 resistance level. Given the position of slow stochastic lines, the index may break out of this level over the next few sessions.