RBI Reserve Bank of India
RBI Reserve Bank of IndiaReuters file

India's foreign exchange reserves crossed $360 billion for the first time. The country's foreign exchange reserves increased by $333.7 million to $360.25 billion in the week ended April 15, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data released on Friday. 

Foreign currency assets, which form a majority of the country's foreign exchange reserves, rose $341.4 million to $336.18 billion, the RBI weekly statistical supplement said.

Gold reserves remained unchanged at $20.11 billion. The country also maintains reserves with the International Monetary Fund.

In the previous reporting week, Asia's third-largest economy's foreign exchange reserves had gone up $157.4 million to $359.91 billion. 

The consistent rise in the country's foreign exchange reserves has to be seen in the context of increasing equity purchases by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in April. Till April 21, they were net buyers of Indian equities worth $872.22 million, according to data available with the NSDL.

On Friday, FPIs purchased stocks valued at Rs. 191.07 crore (about $29 million), according to provisional data released by the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

The rupee closed lower at 66.49 to the US dollar after opening at 66.50 on Friday.

The S&P BSE Sensex fell 42 points to close at 25,838, while the NSE Nifty settled 13 points lower at 7,899 on Friday. 

Sectoral indices that ended lower included consumer durables, information technology and healthcare, while those that ended in the green included auto, banks, capital goods, energy and finance.

India's second-largest private sector lender HDFC Bank posted 20 percent increase in net profit to Rs. 3,374.20 crore on a year-on-year basis for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2016. The net interest income grew 24 percent to Rs. 7,453 crore.

The bank's net non-performing assets (NPAs) stood at 0.28 percent of total advances, an increase from 0.25 percent as on March 31, 2015. 

The bank declared its results on Friday. Stocks of HDFC Bank closed at Rs. 1,092.30, down 0.11 percent.