BENGALURU - Indian shares gained on Wednesday, led by consumer stocks, as a plunge in oil prices provided some respite to the country that saw unrelenting inflation in June.
India's annual consumer inflation remained painfully above the 7% mark, beyond the central bank's tolerance band for a sixth month in a row, official data showed on Tuesday, raising prospects of more rate hikes by central bank next month.
The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.2% at 16,099, as of 0505 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.1% to 53,954.07
The Nifty fast moving consumer index rose 0.8%, while the public sector bank index gained 1.1%.
Global benchmark Brent crude tumbled $7 on Tuesday to settle below $100 a barrel for the first time in three months.
India, world's third largest importer of oil benefits from fall in crude prices as it brings down imported inflation in the country.
"Crude oil prices falling below $100 a barrel in overnight trades would augur well for our markets, given the rising current account deficit and subsequent fall in the currency," said Prashanth Tapse, vice president (research) at Mehta Equities.
Indian rupee has been hitting record lows against the dollar due to continued foreign portfolio outflows from domestic stock markets and safe-haven flows into the greenback.
Investors will now focus on U.S. consumer price index due later in the day, to gauge the path of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
Among individual shares, HCL Technologies fell as much as 2.5% after the IT services provider missed quarterly profit estimates.
Bajaj Healthcare Ltd gained as much as 5.3% after the pharmaceutical company said on Wednesday it was entering the highly-regulated opiate processing business.
Shares of credit ratings agency Care Ratings rose as much as 13.15% on a proposal to buyback shares.
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)