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Indian shares up after services activity survey

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By Anuron Kumar Mitra

BENGALURU, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Indian shares edged up on Thursday after activity in the country's coronavirus-crippled services industry contracted at a slower pace than in July, while Vodafone Idea rose after a report said U.S. wireless carrier Verizon Communications and Amazon.com Inc may invest in the company.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index gained 0.25% to 11,564.00, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.15% to 39,143.32 by 0439 GMT.

A survey showed activity in India's services industry fell for a sixth straight month as coronavirus restrictions continued to hurt business operations and demand, but improved from July.

"The numbers are not that good, but its not that bad either, and markets don't have anything to immediately react to, so we are taking positive cues from global markets which are doing fairly well," said Deepak Jasani, head of research at HDFC Securities in Mumbai.

Sentiment was also supported by gains in broader equities, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan climbing 0.5% after data showed a sustained recovery in China's services sector.

The Nifty Auto index rose 1.34%, with Tata Motors Ltd advancing 2.6% to its highest since February after reporting higher August sales.

The Nifty Bank index fell 0.7%, led by a 1.8% drop in ICICI Bank Ltd, as India's top court was set to continue hearing a case today on waiving interest rates on loans under a moratorium.

IT majors Infosys Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd were the top boosts to the Nifty, rising as much as 2.7% and 2.6%, respectively, and pushing the Nifty IT index 1.94% higher.

Shares in Vodafone Idea jumped 10% after a report said Verizon and Amazon may invest more than $4 billion for a stake in the telecom firm.

Conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd fell as much as 1%. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)