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Indian shares opened higher on Monday, lifted by strong performance in auto stocks following monthly sales data, even as investors remained cautious over the spike in Omicron cases in the country during the holiday weekend.

With several markets in Asia and Europe closed, trading volumes in India were thin and most markets directionless.

As of 9:24 am, the NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.50% at 17,440.30 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.56% to 58,582.41 points.

The Nifty auto index rose 1.28%, with heavyweight automakers Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki up 2.9% and 1.1%, respectively, after monthly sales numbers were released.

According to the health ministry data, India logged 33,750 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the highest since Sept. 18. The country witnessed a fresh wave of infections, including those of the Omicron variant during the weekend.

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India today

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