By Abhishek Vishnoi
MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex edged up enough to mark a fourth consecutive gaining session on Monday as defensive stocks such as ITC and drug makers rose amidst global risk aversion ahead of U.S. elections and a key parliamentary vote in Greece.
Global shares fell, while the dollar strengthened to two-month highs, on Monday as investors were unwilling to hold too much risk, as the U.S. poll on Tuesday will be followed by a Greek vote on austerity measures on Wednesday.
The risk aversion sent the rupee to a 1-1/2 month low against the dollar, and analysts said global cues would be critical for domestic markets in the days ahead.
Quarterly earnings results, including from blue chips Bharti Airtel
"Domestic markets will be range-bound in coming weeks, will take cues from U.S presidential elections," said Daljeet Singh Kohli, head of research at India Nivesh Securities.
The Sensex rose 0.04 percent, or 7.42 points, to end at 18,762.87 points, bringing its gains to 1.8 percent over the past four sessions.
The Nifty rose 0.11 percent, or 6.50 points, to 5,704.20, closing above the psychologically important 5,700 level for the first time since October 25, and has gained 1.9 percent over the previous four sessions.
Defensive stocks gained, with some consumer good companies favoured since they are seen as offering steadier returns and potential for growth.
Cigarette maker ITC
Drug makers also advanced, especially following good quarterly results announced recently.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories
However, Bajaj Auto
Shares in Crompton Greaves Ltd
Citigroup downgraded Crompton Greaves to 'neutral' from 'buy' saying earnings were lower than expected due to losses and lower margins in its consumer business.
Public sector banks with disappointing July-September quarterly earnings fell.
(Editing by; Additional reporting by Manoj Dharra)