Mumbai, Apr 5 (PTI) Continuing its early upward trend, the benchmark BSE Sensex rallied by almost 527 points in late afternoon trade as rate-sensitive stocks surged soon after the Reserve Bank kept its key policy rate unchanged.

The central bank kept the interest rate unchanged, as

widely expected, but lowered inflation projection for 2018-19 to 4.7-5.1 per cent in the first half and 4.4 per cent in H2.

The repo rate, at which the central bank lends short-term money to banks, will continue to stay at 6 per cent. The reverse repo rate, at which it borrows from banks and absorbs excess liquidity, will remain at 5.75 per cent

The 30-share index, which had gained nearly 400 points

in opening trade, made further headway to quote 526.62 points,or 1.59 per cent, higher at 33,545.69 at 1440 hours.

The barometer had lost 351.56 points in the previous

session.

The wider National Stock Exchange index Nifty too maintained its upward march and was quoting 165.95 points, or 1.64 per cent higher at 10,294.35 soon after the RBI policy announcement.

The BSE banking index was up 1.97 per cent to 27,476.26,

while the realty index rose 2.59 per cent to 2282.01. Auto index too gained 1.83 per cent to 25,338.43.

Brokers said the RBI’s decision to keep repo rate unchanged at 6 per cent was largely in line with market expectations and bolstered trading sentiments.

Meanwhile, all six members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) noted that growth has been recovering and output gap is closing.

Among banking stocks, state-run SBI was up 3.24 per cent to Rs 254.90, ICICI Bank gained 3.17 per cent to Rs 276.95

and Kotak Bank was up 2.21 per cent to Rs 1,102.

Positive global cues on fading trade war worries too supported the upmove.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.