Mumbai:  Erasing morning losses, the Sensex on Monday closed 38 points higher at 18,713.55 on strong European market trends amid hopes of good results by RIL.

After a slow start, the Sensex fell around 78 points to the day's low of 18,596.65 amid data showing inflation rose to its highest level this fiscal at 7.81 percent in September -- a development that may restrain RBI from cutting rates.

"Headline WPI inflation of 7.81 percent is unlikely to lead to the RBI starting to reduce repo rates on October 30," said Indranil Pan, Chief Economist, Kotak Mahindra Bank.

However, with the European markets opening strong, buying activity resurfaced. The BSE benchmark index closed up by 38.37 points, or 0.21 percent, at 18,713.55.

Hindalco, Cipla, Dr Reddy and Tata Power were among the best performers in Sensex. Brokers said trading sentiment firmed up on hopes of better earnings today by RIL.

"After the initial weakness, the markets did get some wings to rise. Reliance Industries did its part to support the rise, ahead of its quarterly results," said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, Inventure Growth & Securities.

Shares of RIL closed 0.54 percent higher. In 30-share Sensex, overall 18 stocks climbed led by stocks of FMCG and Oil and Gas. However, Maruti, Sterlite and CIL led 12 losers.

A firming trend in Asia and higher opening in Europe on renewed hopes of some solution to Eurozone debt crisis, also remained a positive factor for Indian market, brokers added.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 11.20 points, or 0.20 percent to 5,687.25, after touching the day's low of 5,651.05.


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