Reserve Bank of India
Reserve Bank of IndiaReuters file

India's foreign exchange reserves rose to an all-time high of $359.75 billion in the week ended April 1, 2016. The addition to the reserves was $4.20 billion, according to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) weekly statistical supplement released Friday.

The previous all-time high of $355.94 billion was in the week ended March 18, 2016.

The rise in reserves in the week ended April 1 was mainly on account of $3.35 billion in foreign exchange assets. Gold assets increased $789 million to $20.11 billion.

The spike in foreign exchange reserves is likely due to the aggressive purchase of Indian equities by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) during the period under review. 

FIIs were net buyers of Indian stocks for the most part of March, a trend seen after four consecutive months of net selling. 

Foreign equity inflows crossed $3.5 billion in March. During the week ended April 1, FIIs were net buyers of Indian equities worth Rs. 8,260 crore.

The country's foreign exchange reserves declined $387.5 million in the week ended March 25 after rising for three consecutive weeks. 

Sensex loses

The S&P BSE Sensex closed with marginal loss of 12 points Friday at 24,674, while the NSE Nifty settled with a gain of 9 points at 7,555.

The top Sensex losers included TCS, Hero Motocorp, Hindustan Unilever, Maruti Suzuki and Infosys, while stocks that lifted the Sensex included NTPC, BHEL, Lupin, M&M and GAIL (India).

The lukewarm trading was attributed to investors turning cautious ahead of fourth-quarter earnings, which are expected to be subdued. 

Passenger car-makers saw their share prices drop in response to news that domestic passenger car sales declined marginally to 175,730 vehicles in March 2016 as against 176,260 units in March 2015.

Pharma company IPCA Laboratories saw its share price fall more than 14 percent in response to a post-trading-session filing by the drug-maker Thursday that the Global Fund, Geneva, Switzerland, would not buy certain products from the company in the wake of adverse observations by the USFDA.

The stock recovered later in the day to close with a loss of 10.61 percent at Rs. 499.30.

[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]