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Indian Shares Close Higher on Robust Economic Data

BENGALURU, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended higher on Wednesday as a clutch of robust data underlining the economy's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic lifted stocks of metals, auto and banking companies.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index added 1.08% to 17,166.90 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex climbed 1.09% to 57,684.79.

India's gross domestic product expanded by 8.4% in the July-to-September quarter - at a faster pace than any major economy in the period - but fears have risen that the Omicron coronavirus variant could slow the momentum.

A separate report also showed 1.32 trillion rupees were collected last month in gross goods and services tax - a 25% jump from a year earlier and the second-highest since the introduction of the tax in 2017.

The market was also supported by a private survey that India's manufacturing activity in November grew at the fastest pace in 10 months. 

The Nifty Auto index ended up 1.46%, led by Tata Motors, which rose to a near one-month high after its domestic sales of passenger vehicles in November rose 38%.

Maruti Suzuki India gained 2.9% after it reported a sequential improvement in monthly sales, and said on Tuesday production at two of its manufacturing units would be around 80% to 85% of normal capacity in December - much higher than production figures for September and October. 

Metal and banking stocks rose the most among major Nifty sub-indexes, gaining 2.3% and 1.88%, respectively.

Among individual stocks, Tata Power rose 3.87% after its unit bagged a solar and battery storage project worth 9.45 billion rupees.

Shares of fertiliser companies, including Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd and Chambal Fertilisers & Chemicals Ltd, jumped between 5% and 9% after a Reuters report that the government plans to double subsidies. 

Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Aditya Soni

Source: Reuters

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