India shares close at near 4-month high as metals, autos gain

·2-min read
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai

By Rama Venkat

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares closed at a near four-month high on Monday, led by metals and automobile stocks, as cooling oil prices and strong buying from foreign investors lifted sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.73% at 17,525.10 and the S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.8% to 58,853.07. The benchmark indexes closed at their highest since mid-April.

"Foreign institutional investors, who were missing from the action over the past few months, have once again started taking exposure to local equities, thus providing a major impetus to the markets," said Shrikant Chouhan, head of retail equity research at Kotak Securities.

Foreign investors have poured $1.79 billion into Indian equities so far this month, according to Refinitiv data.

Meanwhile, oil prices hovered near multi-month lows on Monday, as data pointed to a slow recovery in China's crude imports in July. [O/R]

India, the world's third largest importer of oil, benefits from fall in crude prices as it brings down imported inflation.

In Mumbai trading, Nifty's auto index advanced more than 1%. Automaker Mahindra and Mahindra was one of the top performers on the Nifty 50, gaining 3.3%. Nifty metals index gained 1.3%

Among individual stock moves, Bharat Petroleum Corp was the top drag on Nifty, falling 3.2% after reporting a wider net loss in June quarter.

Shares of SpiceJet fell 4% after Reuters reported that private lenders IDFC First Bank, Yes Bank and state-owned Indian Bank have put their loans to the budget carrier in the high-risk category.

Additionally, investors were buoyed by the prospects of a 7.1% growth in Indian economy in FY2023 on the back of steady performances of services, manufacturing and the farm sectors, per a latest report by CareEdge.

Indian markets will be closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Investors are awaiting data from U.S. on consumer prices due on Wednesday which will offer more clues on the pace of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat and Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru;editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)