Domestic stock markets rose on Friday after the Reserve Bank of India paused key interest rates citing elevated levels of inflation and unveiled steps to boost liquidity in a coronavirus pandemic-hit economy. The S&P BSE Sensex index ended 326.82 points - or 0.81 per cent - higher at 40,509.49 and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark settled at 11,914.20, up 79.60 points - or 0.67 per cent - from its previous close, both extending gains to a seventh straight session. The RBI vouched to retain its "accommodative" stance of policy for as long as necessary to rescue the economy from the damage caused by COVID-19-related restrictions.
During the session, the Sensex spiked as much as 1 per cent to touch 40,585.36 whereas the Nifty climbed 0.88 per cent to 11,938.60.
The Reserve bank of India said it would resort to on-tap long-term repo operations and open market bond purchases among others to ensure liquidity in the banking system.
The NSE Bank index - comprising stocks of 12 major lenders in the country - soared as much as 3.1 per cent during Friday's trade to touch its highest intraday level recorded since September 3, after the central bank eased capital requirements on home loans to spur lending to the real estate sector.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the country's GDP or gross domestic product may break out of the coronavirus-induced contraction and turn positive by the fourth quarter of 2020. The central bank said the country's economy is likely to contract an overall 9.5 per cent in the financial year ending March 2021.
The RBI has already cut the repo rate - or the key interest rate at which it lends money to commercial banks - by 115 basis points since late March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Equities elsewhere in Asia registered mild gains as investors awaited clarify on a second debate for the US presidency, following the fractious September 29 faceoff between US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.28 per cent, whereas the E-Mini S&P futures were last seen trading 0.39 per cent higher, indicating a positive start for US markets on Friday.
European shares started the day on a positive note, with the United Kingdom's FTSE 100 index last seen trading 0.61 per cent higher in early trade.