India's benchmark stock index rose to its highest level in five weeks, led by banks and automobile companies, after inflation slowed more than economists expected in December to a five-month low. ICICI Bank increased 2.1 per cent, sending a gauge of lenders to its highest level in two weeks. Hero MotoCorp added two per cent, helping a measure of 10 automakers to its biggest gain in a month. Coal India Ltd advanced to a one-week high after saying it'll pay a record dividend. The S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.2 per cent to 21,283.09 at 3:17pm in Mumbai , headed for its highest close since December 9 . The wholesale-price index rose 6.16 per cent, lower than a Bloomberg survey estimate of 6.99 per cent, giving the central bank scope to keep interest rates on hold for a second meeting later this month.
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