Sensex, Nifty end higher as RBI rolls out liquidity measures

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian stocks ended higher on Friday, led by bank stocks after the central bank held interest rates stable to counter persistently high inflation while revealing steps to increase liquidity and lending in a pandemic-hit economy.
The Nifty rose 0.67% to 11,914.20 and the Sensex rose 0.81% to 40,509.49. The indices are up more than 4% this week.
The Reserve Bank of India announced that it will use long-term repo operations and purchases of open market bonds to ensure liquidity in the banking system.
The NSE Bank Index rose 3.1% to its highest level since September 3, after the central bank lowered capital requirements on home loans to spur lending to the real estate sector.
Umesh Mehta, head of research at Samco Securities, Mumbai, said the move will put more money on the table for real estate finance companies and allow them to lend more.
Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said the country's gross domestic product could break out of the contraction caused by coronavirus and turn positive by the fourth quarter of 2020.
The shares of HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank as well as State Bank of India were among the top winners of the blue-chip Nifty 50, with gains of between 3.6% and 4.1%.
The Nifty IT index rose 0.65% after Wipro Ltd rose 4.4% to be the top winner on the Nifty 50 index.

(Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; editing by Arun Koyyur)

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