Sensex nears life-time high despite stagflation fears

Mumbai: India’s benchmark index Sensex traded near its life-time highs on Friday after signs of easing in US and China trade tension. The Sensex hit an intraday high of 41,030.92 — a little over 100 points away from a record high of 41,163.79.

Global equities were trading on a firm note on Friday after reports that the US and China may sign a long-awaited trade deal. The world’s two largest economies were expected to seal an interim agreement which would see US drop some tariffs and Beijing to buy more American goods.

Sensex gained 400 points despite the consistent fall in GDP growth rate, and a spike in retail inflation which has sparked fears of stagflation.

On Thursday, the official data showed that retail inflation soared to 5.54 per cent in November, a steep rise of 92 basis points from the inflation number of the previous month.

N.R. Bhanumurthy, Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy told IANS: “There appears to be a textbook case of stagflation…” but the current rise is chiefly owing to rise in food prices.

Metal stocks surged nearly 2 per cent while PSU Banks also jumped over 3 per cent. Vedanta emerged as the top Sensex gainer, gaining nearly 4 per cent followed by Axis Bank, Tata Motors A(DVR), SBI, TCS and Yes Bank.

The Sensex saw only four laggards : Bharti Airtel, Kotak Bank, Bajaj Auto and Asian Paints.

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