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Indian shares gain as banks boost; cenbank rate hikes in focus

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BENGALURU — Indian shares edged higher in volatile trade on Monday, helped by gains in banking stocks, while investors awaited a host of central bank meetings this week to gauge the impact of rate hikes on global economy.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.7% to 17,649 as of 0455 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.6% at 59,208. Both the indexes lost over 1.5% last week.

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Investors braced for a week littered with 13 central bank meetings that are certain to see borrowing costs rise across the globe and some risk of a super-sized hike in the United States.

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“The entire market is focusing on U.S. Federal Reserve statement this week even though it has already discounted a 75 basis points rate hike,” said Prashanth Tapse, research analyst, Mehta Equities.

Markets will be looking at the Fed’s guidance for November, when another 75 basis points-hike is expected, Tapse said.

Despite Indian markets losing nearly 2% last week, foreign investors purchased a net $819 million worth of Indian equities, although they disposed of a net $258 million in the last two trading sessions, according to Refinitiv Eikon.

Data showed that tally for the month as of last close stood at $1.52 billion in net inflows.

Rate-sensitive bank shares were top gainers, with the bank Nifty index rising 0.76%, while public sector bank index jumped 2%.

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Among individual stocks, Ambuja Cement and ACC rose 6.7% and 1.6%, respectively, after Adani Enterprises completed its acquisition of companies and reconstituted their boards.

Shares of Mahindra and Mahindra gained 2.5% after Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan agreed to buy a 30% stake for 23.71 billion Indian rupees ($297.5 million) in the Indian automaker renewable power assets.

Meanwhile, shares of Oil & Natural Gas Corp rose 1.5% after India on Friday slashed taxes on domestic crude oil. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman and Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Savio D’Souza)

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