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Indian shares rise after inflation data; small, mid-caps extend gains

BENGALURU, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose on Tuesday after data showed annual retail inflation eased slightly more than expected in August, while small- and mid-cap stocks extended their gains from the previous session.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.33% to 11,478.15 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex 0.31% to 38,878.63 by 0457 GMT.

India’s retail inflation in August of 6.69% was lower than a Reuters poll forecast, though it remained above the upper end of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) medium-term target for a fifth straight month, which is unlikely to give the RBI room to cut rates at its October meeting.

Expectations of a bumper crop will likely drive down food inflation going forward, which could further help ease the overall retail inflation for the rest of the year, said Rusmik Oza, head of fundamental research at Kotak Securities.

Meanwhile, the Nifty Smallcap 100 hit a more than six-month high, rising 0.64%, while the Nifty Midcap 50 index gained 0.35%.

The (SEBI’s norms) for small- and mid-caps has created a sort of feel-good factor in the markets, Oza said, referring to the regulator’s direction that multi-cap funds must invest at least 25% each in large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap stocks.

Among other sectors and shares, the Nifty Bank index rose 0.33%. ICICI Bank Ltd, which climbed as much as 2.1%, and HDFC Bank Ltd, up as much as 1.3%, were among the top boosts to the Nifty 50.

The Nifty Pharma Index jumped 3.04%.

Reliance Industries Ltd was among the biggest drags on the Nifty, falling as much as 0.4%, after hitting a record high on Monday.

In broader Asian markets, shares rose on positive industrial data from China and optimism around COVID-19 vaccines, with eyes on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting that starts later in the day.

Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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