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Sensex, Nifty post best weekly gain since early June
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Indian shares ended higher on Thursday as investor sentiment got a boost from the federal government's nod to open movie theatres, a surge in September auto sales numbers and data showing a rebound in factory activity in September.

The Nifty rose 1.5% to 11,416.95 and the Sensex gained 1.7% to 38,697.05. The indexes added over 3% this week, in the best weekly gain since early June.

India's federal government on Wednesday allowed states to reopen movie theatres at 50% capacity, and said schools and educational institutions could restart in a phased manner.

Shares in India's top cinema chains PVR Ltd and INOX Leisure jumped as much as 15% and 17.6%, respectively, pushing the Nifty media index 2.8% higher.

India's factory activity in September expanded at its fastest pace in more than eight years, a private survey showed.

Shares of automakers rose after posting higher September sales, pushing the Nifty auto index up 0.8%.

Bajaj Auto's shares jumped 8.1% after it reported a 10% surge in September sales. Maruti Suzuki gained 2.5%, following a 31% jump in sales last month.

"Whatever auto sales numbers have come they are better ... the unlock guidelines have also helped sentiments," said Neeraj Dhawan, director at Quantum Securities in New Delhi.

Investors covered their short positions in banks ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on Oct. 5 over banks waiving interest rates on loans under a moratorium, leading to a rally in bank stocks, Dhawan said.

The Nifty bank index rose 3.7%.

Shares of Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd and Oil India Ltd fell as much as 3.8% and 2.6%, respectively, after India cut the price of locally produced gas for October 2020-March 2021 to a multi-year low.

Markets will be closed for a national holiday on Oct 2.

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