Indian shares close at over nine-month high; Fed in focus

A man walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai

By Rama Venkat

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares had a solid start to November as benchmark indexes closed at over nine-month highs on Tuesday, with gains seen across sectors, while investor focus turned to this week's U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting for cues on future rate hikes.

Thirty-nine of 50 stocks on the NSE Nifty 50 index closed higher, lifting the index up 0.74% to 18,145.40, while the S&P BSE Sensex finished 0.62% higher at 61,121.35.

"Nifty surpassing the 18,100-mark ended a near seven-month consolidation. This kind of positivity could be because we are discounting possibility of big rate hikes being halted," said Ajit Mishra, Vice President - Research at Religare Broking.

The Fed's meeting and RBI's comments will impact the performance of rate-sensitive stocks. A favourable announcement would result in a further uptick in the pack, which holds the key for Nifty's record highs, he added.

The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by 75 basis points on Wednesday.

A meeting of the Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee is also scheduled for Nov. 3, where it will potentially discuss its response to the government on its failure to stick to inflation targets for three quarters in a row.

In broader equities, Asian shares rose and European stocks hit a six-week high on hopes that central banks may slow the pace of rate hikes. [MKTS/GLOB]

In domestic trading, Nifty's IT, metal, and pharma indexes were among top gainers, rising between 1% and 2.4% each.

Tata Motors Ltd rose 2% higher after total domestic sales for October climbed 17% from a year ago. Adani Enterprises closed 6.8% higher and was Nifty 50's top gainer. Adani Ports finished 2.2% up, ahead of its quarterly earnings results. The port operator reported a 68.5% jump in quarterly net profit.

($1 = 82.7910 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Janane Venkatraman)