Indian shares rally for eighth session as banking stocks shine

BENGALURU, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Indian shares rose for an eighth straight session on Monday, led by banks as the central bank appealed to the country’s top court to allow lenders classify loans as non performing-assets, raising hopes of some relief for the battered sector.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.45% to 11,967.85 by 0458 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.6% at 40,742.39.

Late on Friday, the Reserve Bank of India appealed to the Supreme Court to let banks classify loans as non-performing, saying a ban imposed to help borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic could greatly harm the financial system.

The Nifty banking sub-index rose 0.6%, with State Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra bank among the top gainers on the blue-chip Nifty 50, adding 2.2% and 1.8% respectively.

“Banks will be required to recognise NPAs if the Supreme Court agrees... banks will also be willing to lend to borrowers on the fringe once there is clarity,” said Deepak Jasani, head of research, HDFC Securities.

IT major Infosys gained 1.8% ahead of its quarterly results due later this week. The Nifty IT index was up 1.1%, after Tata Consultancy announced a big buyback and posted strong margins last week.

Market participants are now awaiting consumer price inflation data due at 1200 GMT and a finance ministry press conference on economic issues at noon for further direction.

Shares of UTI Asset Management Company slid 9.8% to 500 rupees on their debut and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders jumped 48.2% on its first day of trading. (Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Subhranshu Sahu)