BENGALURU: Indian shares opened higher on Thursday, with IT and auto stocks gaining, while a fall in oil prices boosted domestic sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.7% to 15,521.5, while the S&P BSE Sensex was 0.67% higher at 52,166.02 as of 0407 GMT.

In a pre-open comment, Prashanth Tapse, vice president (Research), Mehta Equities said Indian markets could track early gains in Asia, and a sharp fall in crude prices would boost sentiment.

Brent crude futures dropped 2% to $109.50 a barrel, extending losses from the previous day, as investors worried that aggressive U.S. interest rate hikes could dent fuel demand.

U.S. Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell said the central bank is not trying to engineer a recession to stop inflation, but is fully committed to bringing prices under control even if doing so risks an economic downturn.

Mirroring sentiment, India's central bank has no choice but to raise interest rates to keep a lid on inflation expectations, Deputy Governor Michael Patra wrote in the latest MPC minutes released on Wednesday.

The Nifty IT index was up 1%, while the Nifty Auto index gained 1.7%.

(Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)