By Rama Venkat
BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares rose for the third straight session on Monday, lifted by gains in technology and metal stocks, while investors awaited domestic inflation data for cues on the pace of the central bank's rate hikes.
The NSE Nifty 50 index, with most of its major sub-indexes in the positive territory, closed 0.58% higher at 17,936.35, and the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.54% to 60,115.13 -- their highest level since Aug. 18.
India's retail inflation data, due later in the day after market close, is expected to snap a three-month downward trend in August as food prices surged, a Reuters poll of economists showed, likely raising the possibility of an aggressive rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India.
"Investors are going to closely watch domestic and U.S. inflation data this week for any signs if they have moderated or peaked," said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities.
Markets are pricing in a straight 75 basis-point rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve, not back-to-back increases and that indication will be provided by the inflation data, Dewan added.
The Nifty's IT index closed 1.42% higher, its fourth consecutive session of gain, while the Metal index advanced 0.92%. Infosys Ltd and Tata Steel were among the top performers on the benchmark Nifty 50, climbing 1.6% and 1.9%, respectively.
Heavyweight Reliance Industries also provided a boost with a 1.1% rise at close, after hitting a near two-week high in the session. The conglomerate late on Friday said its unit would buy polyester business of Shubhalakshmi Polyesters and Shubhlaxmi Polytex for 15.92 billion rupees ($200.20 million). (https://bit.ly/3qxSAqk)
Among other individual stock moves, construction firm Engineers India closed 2.1% higher, after it won an order worth 2.49 billion rupees from top oil explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (https://bit.ly/3d8hmug)
($1 = 79.5200 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Neha Arora)