Indian shares advanced on Wednesday, extending gains to the fourth consecutive session, aided by consumer goods, metals and realty stocks ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy decision.
The blue-chip Nifty 50 index was up 0.68% at 18,726.40, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed 0.56% higher at 63,142.96. Both rose to more-than-six-month highs and were less than 1% off record highs.
Broader indexes continued to rise, with both the midcap and smallcap hitting fresh record highs.
All 13 major sectoral indexes logged gains, with high-weightage financials and information technology rising 0.30% and 0.78%, respectively.
The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) index added over 1% and was among the top sectoral gainers. Britannia Industries Ltd , Tata Consumer Products Ltd and Nestle India Ltd were among the top Nifty 50 gainers after brokerage Jefferies predicted margin benefits at consumer staples firms would sustain due to falling input costs.
Rate-sensitive realty stocks rose over 1.5% ahead of the RBI's rate decision on Thursday, while metals also increased more than 1.5%.
The RBI is expected to leave its key interest rate unchanged this week and the rest of the year, a Reuters poll of economists showed.
India's retail inflation eased to an 18-month low of 4.70% in April, well below the RBI's upper tolerance level. Economists expect the next few readings to be comfortably below the 6% threshold, bolstering hopes of a sustained pause in the rate tightening cycle.
"The expectations of a rate pause by the RBI has triggered optimism in rate sensitives," said Shrikant Chouhan, head of equity research (retail) at Kotak Securities.
Among individual stocks, beverages producer Tata Consumer Products hit a six-month high after Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran said that the company will look at new categories and acquisitions to transform into a full-fledged FMCG firm.