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Indian shares edge lower as China border tensions weigh, banks drop

BENGALURU, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Indian shares slipped on Wednesday, weighed down by banking stocks, as heightened tensions at the country’s disputed border with China overshadowed broader optimism around upbeat U.S. manufacturing indicators.

At 0459 GMT, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.11% at 11,457.20 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex 0.20% at 38,823.87.

India’s foreign ministry on Tuesday accused China of “provocative actions” on the countries’ disputed Himalayan border while commanders from both sides were holding talks on Monday to defuse tensions.

In Mumbai, mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd was the biggest drag on the Nifty, falling as much as 2.1%.

The Nifty Bank index fell 1.3%, with lenders Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd and State Bank of India falling 1.6% and 2.7%, respectively.

“Banks are still under a little bit of pressure because of (the telecom dues ruling) yesterday,” said Samrat Dasgupta, chief executive at Esquire Capital Investment Advisors. India’s top court on Tuesday gave mobile carriers 10 years to settle government dues.

“However, I don’t expect any large downside (to the markets) unless this China problem really erupts,” he said.

Denting sentiment further for banks, India’s top court was hearing a case on waiving interest rates on loans under a moratorium.

State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd rose as much as 3% after reporting a better-than-expected June-quarter profit on Tuesday evening.

Coal India Ltd, due to announce quarterly results later in the day, climbed 3% after reporting a rise in production for August.

IT major Infosys Ltd was among the top boosts on the Nifty, rising 1.3%, after the company said on Tuesday it was increasing its U.S. hiring commitment.

Broader Asian markets rose following buoyant U.S. manufacturing indicators and a rally in U.S. technology companies. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.25%. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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