Indian shares rise on firm factory data; banks lead gains

BENGALURU, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Indian shares inched higher on Tuesday, as investors cheered strong factory activity data from Asia’s third-largest economy, with banking stocks offering support after the sector’s heavyweights reported upbeat earnings.

By 0355 GMT, the NSE Nifty 50 index and the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.9% each to 11,774.8 and 40,110.93, respectively.

India’s factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in over a decade in October, a private survey showed, as its demand recovered from the coronavirus-led disruptions.

The Nifty banking index rose 2.2%, led by a 3.3% gain in heavyweight stock ICICI Bank. The lender’s shares are up for a second session following its upbeat earnings announcement on Saturday.

Banks and financial stocks have the biggest weight here on the Nifty among sectors of about 35%.

India’s biggest lender by assets, SBI, was up 2.4% ahead of its earnings report scheduled for Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Reliance Industries fell for a second straight session, shedding 1.5%. (Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)