The domestic stock markets have opened at fresh life-time highs, continuing with the momentum witnessed in the past 12 trading sessions, as prospects of an eventual victory against coronavirus continued to shore up recovery hopes. At 9:18 am, the Sensex was at 49,697.18, higher by 190.10 points, after opening the day at 49,7653.93, and the Nifty was at 16,425.15, up 65.55 points or 0.46 per cent.
Markets were mixed across Asia, with Japan's Nikkei 225 up 0.11 per cent, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1 per cent and South Korea's KOSPI 0.64 per cent higher.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 31,068.69, the S&P 500 gained 1.58 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 3,801.19 and Nasdaq Composite added 36.00 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 13,072.43.
On the economy front, retail inflation fell sharply to 4.59 per cent in December mainly due to declining food prices, according to the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation post market hours on Tuesday. The retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 6.93 per cent in November. Food inflation declined to 3.41 per cent in December in 2020, compared with 9.5 per cent in the previous month.
Meanwhile, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted 1.9 per cent in November 2020. The factory output in the country had grown at 3.6 per cent in October.
Infosys, Wipro and CESC will be among the major companies to announce their numbers during the day.
Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors, ONGC and Tata Steel topped the gainer's charts on the BSE, adding 2.1-4.3 per cent each in early trading. Tata Motors shares extended their previous day's gains by another 3 per cent after the auto major reported a 1 per cent rise in global wholesales, including Jaguar Land Rover, to 2,78,915 units in the third quarter of the current fiscal. The company had sold 2,76,127 units in the October-December period.
On the other hand, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Titan, M&M and TCS were witnessing profit-booking of up to a per cent each after recent gains.
Among the earnings candidates for the day, Infosys was trading flat, with a negative bias, at Rs 1367.20 and Wipro had strengthened by 1.2 per cent at Rs 463.10 on the BSE ahead of their December quarter numbers.
The BSE market breadth was positive. Out of 2,190 stocks traded on the BSE, there were 1,464 advancing stocks as against 646 declines.
On Tuesday, the BSE Sensex had climbed 247.79 points to 49,517.11 and Nifty had crossed the 14,500-mark to close at 14,563.50, up 78.70 points.