Indian shares post monthly rise of over 5%; cenbank meetings eyed

FILE PHOTO: Broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai

(Corrects typo in first paragraph)

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares on Monday registered their biggest monthly gains since July, as stocks across sectors advanced and investors awaited outcomes from major central banks' policy meetings later this week.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 1.3% to 18,012.2 at close, and the S&P BSE Sensex finished 1.3% higher at 60,746.59, both recording their third straight session of gains.

For the month, the indexes added more than 5% each on the back of corporate earnings reports and hopes of a less-hawkish stance from major central banks.

"The U.S. economy's strength is indicating a lower probability of an immediate U.S. recession and indications that inflation is plateauing. This might enable the Fed to slightly moderate their hawkish stance," said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Canadian and Australian central banks have hiked rates below expectations. If this trend spreads, that will favour the rally's continuation in the short-term, Vijayakumar added.

Investors this week will be looking for outcomes of policy meetings of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.

A meeting of the Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee is also expected.

Scheduled for Nov. 3, the meeting would potentially discuss the Committee's response to the government on its failure to stick to its inflation target for three quarters in a row.

In domestic trading, Nifty's IT, automobile, and finance indexes were among the top performers, adding more than 1% each.

UltraTech Cement was the top percentage gainer on the Nifty 50, closing 4.2% higher.

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel ended 1.9% up, after hitting a record high, ahead of its quarterly results.

Life Insurance Corp of India finished 1.9% higher after Reuters reported, citing sources, that it plans to transfer nearly $22 billion from policyholders' funds into a fund earmarked to pay dividends or issue bonus shares.

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