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Sensex, Nifty end higher as metals advance; rate decision eyed

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, February 1, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher for a third straight session on Wednesday, boosted by metal stocks and on hopes of more monetary stimulus to cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus outbreak.

The Nifty closed up 0.91% to 12,089.15 and the benchmark Sensex ended 0.87% higher at 41,142.66.

Market focus will shift to RBI on Thursday as it will detail its interest rate decision, the first one after the union budget that did little to boost investor sentiment.

Rising inflation in Asia’s third-largest economy was expected to keep the Reserve Bank of India from cutting rates again until late this year, according to a Reuters poll published last month.

Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China is likely to lower its key lending rate - the loan prime rate - on Feb. 20, and cut banks’ reserve requirement ratios in the coming weeks, policy sources told Reuters.

The Nifty metals index closed 2.74% higher and led gains among the domestic sectors.

Tata Motors was the biggest gainer, finishing up 10.89% after recording its best intra-day gain since October last year.

Zee Entertainment was the biggest laggard, falling 7.3%.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur