The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday extended the market trading timings to the pre-pandemic hours from 9 am to 5 pm with effect from December 12. With this, the timings for call or notice or term money market operations have been extended from the existing 9:00 am to 3:30 pm to 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The market hours for commercial paper and certificates of deposit, repo in corporate bonds, and rupee interest rate derivatives have been increased from the previous timings of 9:00 am to 3:30 pm to 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
However, the market hours for tri-party repo in government securities, government securities (central government securities, state development loans and treasury bills) and foreign currency (FCY)/ Indian Rupee trades have remained unchanged from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.
“The trading hours for various markets regulated by the Reserve Bank were amended with effect from April 7, 2020, in view of the operational dislocations and elevated levels of health risks posed by COVID-19. Restoration of market hours in a phased manner was commenced with effect from November 09, 2020, with the easing of pandemic-related constraints, and the opening time for regulated market hours was restored to the pre-pandemic timing of 9:00 AM with effect from April 18, 2022,” the RBI said in a statement.
“It has now been decided to restore market hours in respect of call/notice/term money, commercial paper, certificates of deposit and repo in corporate bond segments of the money market as well as for rupee interest rate derivatives. Accordingly, with effect from December 12, 2022, the revised trading hours for the markets regulated by the Reserve Bank,” it added.
On Wednesday, the RBI, in its bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, hiked the key repo rate by 35 basis points to 6.25%. With the latest rate hike, which was in line with the market expectations, the apex bank has raised the repo rate by two percentage points in half a year. Moreover, the apex bank has kept the inflation target for the current financial year 2022-23 (FY23) unchanged at 6.7%, while cautioning that the battle against inflation is not over yet. The RBI MPC has revised the inflation projection for Q3 to 6.6% and Q4 to 5.9%, from 6.4% and 5.8%, respectively, estimated during the September policy.
Meanwhile, the RBI has revised the current financial year GDP growth forecast, in line with estimates suggested by global international agencies and financial institutions. Projecting the country's full fiscal year economic growth below 7%, the RBI said the real GDP growth for 2022-23 is estimated at 6.8%, with Q3 at 4.4% and Q4 at 4.2%.