The BSE Sensex rose on Monday, marking its highest close in nearly one month, as technology stocks continued to make record highs after Infosys cheered the sector on Friday by raising the lower end of its fiscal 2014 revenue outlook.
The technology sector-led rise on Monday trumped data showing India’s headline inflation accelerated to a seven-month high of 6.46 per cent in September, driven by higher food prices.
Accelerating inflation is raising expectations that the Reserve Bank of India will raise interest rates by 25 basis points on October 29, which would mark its second consecutive hike in as many months.
Uncertainty about the monetary policy could constrain further gains in shares, some analysts said, while any disappointment in earnings could also spark a pullback.
“Markets are not looking cheap anymore and, therefore, disappointment on the part of September-quarter corporate earnings may lead to a correction,” said Nilesh Shetty, associate fund manager at Quantum Asset Management Company.
The Sensex rose 0.38 per cent, or 78.95 points, to end at 20,607.54, marking its highest close since September 19.
The Nifty rose 0.27 per cent, or 16.50 points, to end at 6,112.70, rising for a fifth consecutive day.
The rupee weakened on Monday, snapping two days of gains after data showed higher-than-expected inflation for September and robust dollar demand from a large private oil firm.
Traders are also awaiting the outcome of talks to raise the US debt limit to avoid what would be a historic default. The dollar slipped and the yen gained on safe-haven demand.
“It was largely a very dull market domestically,” said Uday Bhatt, a foreign exchange dealer with UCO Bank. “All eyes are on the US for now. We could see the pair holding in a 60.80 to 62.50 range until there is clarity from the US.”
The partially convertible rupee closed at the day’s low of 61.55/56 per dollar compared with 61.07/08 on Friday, after moving in a 61.13 to 61.55 range.