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Indian equity benchmarks rose for a second straight session riding gains in bank, IT, auto and metal stocks, a day after the RBI increased repo rate and maintained neutral stance.

According to analysts, chances of a status quo were greater than a rate hike and it was RBI’s ‘neutral’ stance that did the job.

Besides, Dalal Street appreciated the RBI’s GDP growth target for FY19.

Rally in global stocks too bolstered sentiment, triggering sustained buying in most sectors.

Bank and financial stocks, barring a few of them, featured among the top contributors to the rally in benchmark indices after the RBI on Wednesday announced a slew of changes pertaining to banks and NBFCs.

The RBI initiated changes in the method for valuation of state government securities, revision in housing loan limits for PSL eligibility, aligning objectives with PMAY and increase in Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) carved out from Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR).

Moreover, the RBI has allowed state-owned banks to spread their mark-to-market losses incurred in the April-June quarter equally over the next four quarters, a move that will help protect their dwindling profit margins.

All these factors augured well for equity barometer Sensex that rose 284 points, or 0.81 per cent, to end the day at 35,463, with 22 stocks advancing and 9 declining.

The Nifty50 clocked up a gain of 84 points, or 0.78 per cent, settling at 10,768, with 37 stocks in the green and 13 in the red.

Midcaps and smallcaps performed even better than benchmark Sensex, closing the day with gains of 1.40 per cent and 1.96 per cent, respectively.

Reliance Industries, ICICI BankNSE 2.47 %, InfosysNSE 1.21 %, Axis Bank and HDFC remained the key drivers of the rise in Sensex on Thursday.

However, Coal India, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra BankNSE -0.40 % and State Bank of India featured among the top losers in the Sensex index.

Among the sectors, except for consumer durables, all rose, with realty leading from the front.

Global stocks hit a three-week high on Thursday as investors priced in a potentially earlier-than-expected wind-down of stimulus from the European Central Bank, Reuters reported.