BENGALURU: Indian shares closed higher on Thursday, climbing for a third consecutive session aided by gains in consumer and metal stocks, a day after the central bank left key interest rates unchanged in line with expectations.
At the closing bell, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex were up 0.27% each at 17,516.85 and 58,807.13, respectively. Both indexes are set to log their second consecutive weekly gain.
The Nifty FMCG index ended 1.44% higher led by strong gains in cigarettes-to-hotel conglomerate ITC. ITC shares witnessed their best day in nearly three months and were up 4.9%.
The Nifty metal index closed 0.62% higher. The Nifty bank index, which fell over 1% during the day, pared some losses to close 0.54% lower.
"While RBI's MPC decision was in line with what we had estimated, the markets have priced it in and are now watching out for the US jobs report as well as India's retail inflation numbers," said Narendra Solanki, head of equity research at Anand Rathi Investment Services.
"We are nearing the end of the calendar year and by next week most FIIs (foreign institutional investors) will be going on holiday, hence trading activity is expected to be very low. There might not be any large moves in either direction in the near term."
A Reuters poll showed retail inflation likely accelerated last month towards the upper limit of the RBI's 2%-6% target range as fruit and vegetable prices rose. The CPI data is due on Monday.
Digital payments start-up Paytm's shares moved sharply higher in afternoon trade after its unit was given the status of a scheduled payments bank which would help them explore new business opportunities.
Debt-laden telecom operator Vodafone Idea's shares rose as much as 16.8% to hit their highest levels since early May 2019. The company has gained over 54% since announcing new tariff plans late November.