Indian shares open higher on boost from banking stocks

BENGALURU, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Indian shares opened higher on Tuesday after a sharp drop in the previous session, helped by gains in financial stocks, as investors looked past data that showed the country suffered its worst economic contraction on record amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

By 0359 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.71% to 11,467.90 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.65% to 38,883.88.

The indexes fell more than 2% on Monday following a fresh border flare-up between India and China.

Data after markets closed on Monday showed India’s economy contracted 23.9% in the June-quarter, much more than forecast and pointing to a longer-than-expected recovery, with analysts calling for further stimulus.

The Nifty bank index rose 1.45%, while the Nifty auto index was up 1.32%. Automakers are set to report their August sales figures today.

Bharti Infratel Ltd was the top percentage gainer on the Nifty, rising 5.2%, after the telecom infrastructure firm said it will go ahead with its long-delayed merger with Indus Towers.

Refiner Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd was the top laggard on the Nifty, falling 2.3%. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)