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Indian stocks gain despite rising wholesale inflation

11:08, 14 September 2021

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Indian stocks finished higher on Tuesday even as government data warned of rising wholesale prices.

The National Stock Exchange’s NIFTY 50 Index closed 0.14% higher at 17,380 points, while the S&P BSE SENSEX ended 0.12% higher at 58,247.09 points.

The NIFTY Media Index, a basket of 10 stocks including Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL), rocketed 14.4%. The index was bolstered by a 40% rally in ZEEL shares, which finished at INR261.70 ($3.55) after top shareholder Invesco called for the removal of managing director Punit Goenka.

Meanwhile, the NIFTY Metal Index, a basket of 15 stocks including commodities major Adani Enterprises, was the laggard and dipped 0.50%.

Gainers and losers

The Indian rupee was trading 0.14% lower to the US dollar, to INR73.64, in the late afternoon.

On the NIFTY, shares of IndusInd Bank, software exporter HCL Technologies (HCL) and two-wheeler giant Hero MotoCorp, were the top gainers, adding 3.93%, 2.37% and 2.01% respectively.

However, Aditya Birla Group’s UltraTech Cement, the nation’s largest mortgage provider Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) were the top losers, shedding 1.13%, 1.04% and 1.03% respectively.

On the SENSEX, shares in IndusInd Bank, HCL and Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) were the biggest gainers, adding 4.07%, 2.54% and 1.67% respectively.

HDFC, food products maker Nestlé India and Ultratech Cement were the biggest losers, shedding 1.07%, 0.97% and 0.87% respectively.

Inflation numbers

India’s wholesale price-based inflation logged a slight jump in August on a surge in the prices of non-food items and fuel products, the government said on Tuesday. Wholesale prices accelerated at a rate of 11.39% in August, faster than the 11.16% pace in the preceding month.

“Following the weaker-than-expected consumer price inflation data for August released yesterday, headline wholesale price inflation data released today surprised to the upside,” Darren Aw, Asia economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.

“But it should resume dropping before long, particularly if commodity prices fall back as we expect. In all, there’s little in the August inflation data to pressure the RBI to start tightening policy,” he added.

Official data published Monday showed that consumer price inflation eased for a second straight month in August, with India’s phased reopening following lockdown meeting pent-up demand. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) accelerated at 5.30% in August, after increasing 5.59% in July and 6.26% in June.

Read more: Food delivery giant Zomato drops as co-founder quits

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