Indian shares rise on auto, financials boost; CPI data awaited

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Auto and financial stocks boosted Indian shares on Monday, ahead of the release of retail inflation data for June, with investors preparing for major corporate earnings due later in the week.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo

As of 0505 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.63% at 15,788.65 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.59% to 52,693.39.

“The more important factors to watch out for would be June-quarter results and the panning out of a third wave of COVID-19”, said Aishvarya Dadheech, fund manager at Ambit Asset Management in Mumbai.

Among several companies to report results this week, eyes will be on software services major Infosys’ numbers due on Wednesday.

The Nifty Bank index added 0.79%, with ICICI Bank and State Bank of India rising 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively, to be among the top boosts to the sub-index.

Financial stocks received a boost from the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to allow reverse mergers of banks older than five years with their holding companies.

Equitas Holdings Ltd surged 20% after it initiated steps to merge with its unit Equitas Small Finance Bank. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank rose 6.3% on its move to merge with holding company Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd.

The Nifty Auto index, up 0.92%, was set to snap a four-day losing streak. Shares of the country’s top automaker Maruti Suzuki jumped 2% as the company announced a price hike for one of its bestselling cars.

Sentiment was aided by a relief rally in Asian peers as U.S. stocks hitting all-time highs and China’s policy easing calmed jitters on global growth.

Investors’ focus is on the country’s retail inflation, which likely accelerated to a seven-month high in June, staying above the central bank’s comfort zone for a second straight month, a Reuters poll showed.

Meanwhile, the Indian rupee strengthened 0.07% against the dollar to 74.43 rupees on Monday, as of 0452 GMT.

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