BSE Sensex index: Uneasy calm returns as Indian bank stocks jump
The BSE Sensex index, India's benchmark stock market index, has been experiencing an uneasy calm in recent weeks. However, this calm was disrupted on Monday as Indian bank stocks jumped, leading to a surge in the index. The BSE Sensex index rose by 1.5% on Monday, with the Nifty 50 index also rising by 1.5%. The surge was led by banking stocks, with the Nifty Bank index rising by 3.5%. This surge in bank stocks was driven by the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) announcement of a new liquidity facility for banks. The RBI announced on Monday that it would provide a new liquidity facility of up to Rs 50,000 crore ($6.8 billion) to banks to support lending to the healthcare sector. This move is aimed at supporting the healthcare sector during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The new liquidity facility will be available until March 31, 2022, and will be provided at the repo rate, which is currently at 4%. The RBI also announced that it would conduct a special three-year long-term repo operation of Rs 10,000 crore ($1.4 billion) for small finance banks. The announcement of the new liquidity facility and the special repo operation led to a surge in bank stocks, with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank all rising by more than 3%. Other bank stocks also saw gains, with State Bank of India rising by 2.5% and Kotak Mahindra Bank rising by 2%. The surge in bank stocks is a welcome relief for investors who have been concerned about the recent calm in the stock market. The BSE Sensex index has been trading in a narrow range in recent weeks, with investors cautious about the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the Indian economy. However, the surge in bank stocks on Monday suggests that investors are becoming more optimistic about the Indian economy. The new liquidity facility announced by the RBI is expected to support lending to the healthcare sector, which is a key area of focus for the Indian government during the pandemic. Overall, the surge in bank stocks on Monday is a positive sign for the Indian economy and the stock market. While there are still concerns about the impact of the pandemic on the economy, the new liquidity facility announced by the RBI is expected to provide much-needed support to the healthcare sector and help boost economic growth.