The benchmark indices have opened in the green, thanks to the positive cues from the Asian Street and encouraging pointers from the SGX Nifty futures. The Sensex was quoting at 40,999, higher by 70 points or 0.1 per cent and Nifty was at 12,050, up 12 points. The Sensex had touched a high of 41,154 at opening bell, but has surrendered some of its gains.
The markets will keep an eye on the Economic Survey to be presented by Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Krishnamurthy Subramanian in the afternoon, a day ahead of the Budget. All the Nifty sectors are trading in the green, with the exception of metal and IT.
The Nifty futures had gained 22 points or 0.1 per cent at 12,061 on the Singaporean Exchange in early trades. Asian stocks were also trading in the green, albeit off their earlier highs as investors are weighing the short-term economic damage of the coronavirus against the increasingly decisive moves to contain the epidemic.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.4%. Japanese shares were up 0.9 per cent after climbing as much as 1.5 per cent earlier in the session, while Hong Kong stocks wiped out most of their advance on the day. Japan's Topix Index had risen 0.7 per cent and Kospi index rose 0.2 per cent.
The Dow Jones reversed course towards the end of the session and rose 124 points to close at 28,859, the S&P 500 added 10 points to end at 3283 and Nasdaq Composite was up 23 points to close at 9298.
The World Health Organization called the outbreak of coronavirus in China a global health emergency, citing the risk that the deadly virus could expand to other countries beyond China.
As worries rise over the epidemic's potential economic impact, oil futures dropped to settle at a six-month low, down by around 17% from their recent peaks, while gold prices climbed to the highest levels in nearly seven years. Following the steps of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.75%.
Back Home, the stock markets had moved lower on Thursday tracking weakness in Asian peers as worries about the economic impact from the coronavirus epidemic in China continued to weigh on sentiment. The Sensex had ended 284 points or 0.69 per cent lower at 40,913 and the Nifty was able to hold the crucial 12,000 mark on F&O expiry day to settle at 12,035, down 93 points or 0.77 per cent.
Financial stocks are among the top gainers this morning, with Kotak Bank, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance and SBI gaining between 1 per cent and 4 per cent each.
On the other hand, ONGC, NTPC and RIL have shed 0.5 per cent to 2 per cent each.