July 30, 2020 / 5:17 AM / 14 days ago

Indian shares track broader Asia higher after Fed decision

* NSE index up 0.62%, BSE index rises 0.65%

* Nifty IT, pharma indexes up 1.9% each

* Dr. Reddy’s touches all-time high

By Derek Francis

BENGALURU, July 30 (Reuters) - Indian shares tracked broader Asia higher on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero to support its coronavirus-hit economy, raising hopes for accommodative monetary policies from other central banks.

The NSE Nifty 50 index climbed 0.62% to 11,272.65 by 0450 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.65% to 38,318.78.

All members of the Fed voted to leave the target range for short-term rates between 0% and 0.25%, and the central bank vowed to use its “full range of tools” to support the U.S. economy, helping Wall Street and broader Asian indexes gain.

“The continuation of a policy of easy money, with the hint of not holding back support, from the Fed is a positive for all global markets,” said Deepak Jasani, the head of retail research at HDFC Securities in Mumbai.

In India, the central bank could also cut interest rates as the outlook for Asia’s third-largest economy has worsened by the coronavirus outbreak, a Reuters poll published on Wednesday showed.

“There is room for RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to cut rates, but demand is quite weak and government spending has not picked up,” Jasani said.

Virus cases rose by over 50,000 in the last 24 hours and touched 1.58 million by Thursday morning, government data https://www.mohfw.gov.in showed, with the country easing here restrictions such as the night-time curfew and allowing gyms to open from next month.

In the equities market, the Nifty pharma index and the Nifty IT index rose as much as 1.9% each.

Wipro climbed 2.5%, while HCL Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services gained about 2% each.

Dr. Reddy’s Labs rose 4.1% to a record high and topped the Nifty gainers after the generic drugmaker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday.

Carmaker Maruti Suzuki and airline InterGlobe Aviation, which reported quarterly losses on Wednesday, rose about 1% and 2%, respectively.

Refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp was the top laggard, shedding about 4.9%. (Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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