July 13, 2020 / 4:26 AM / a month ago

Nifty, Sensex end higher as Reliance rallies; inflation data awaited

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher on Monday, led by a rally in Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), ahead of June’s inflation data which investors bet would lead to further interest rate cuts by the central bank.

A broker laughs while speaking to a colleague, as they trade on their computer terminals at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

However, gains were capped by declines in the banking and financial sectors after rating agency Moody’s warned of challenging economic and credit conditions stemming from COVID-19 for Indian banks.

The broader NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI ended up 0.32% at 10,802.7 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN finished 0.27% higher at 36,693.69.

A Reuters poll last week showed India’s headline inflation likely eased to 5.3% in June, still just over a point above the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4.0%.

The data is expected later in the evening.

Expectations of easing inflation come amid surging coronavirus cases as Asia’s third-largest economy began lifting lockdown restrictions to help revive the economy.

Reliance Industries finished at record 1938.7 rupees after gaining as much as 3.7% in the session, its third consecutive day in the black, on Qualcomm’s (QCOM.O) 7.3 billion-rupee investment in the Indian conglomerate’s Jio Platmforms arm.

The Nifty IT index .NIFTYIT rose as much as 2.06% in the session, its highest since March 5, with Tech Mahindra (TEML.NS) advancing 5.46% and Infosys (INFY.NS) closing up 1.94%.

The Nifty banking index fell 1.38% and the financials index .NIFTYFIN declined 1.54% at the closing bell.

The country’s biggest lender by assets, State Bank of India (SBI.NS), closed down 1.48%, while large shadow lender HDFC Ltd (HDFC.NS) finished 2.14% lower.

HDFC Bank (HDBK.NS) closed down 2.25% after Bloomberg reported the lender probed allegations of improper lending practices and conflicts of interests in its vehicle-financing operation.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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