Domestic stock markets recovered early losses amid volatile trade on Friday. The S&P BSE Sensex index rebounded as much as 311.58 points from the weakest level of the day recorded in the first hour of the session to touch 41,587.18, which was 200.78 points higher compared with its previous close of 41,386.40. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed to as high as 12,246.35, rising 96.7 points from its intraday low of 12,149.65. Gains across sectors barring IT pushed the markets higher, led by banking and financial services stocks.
At 11:11 am, the Sensex traded 147.16 points - or 0.36 per cent - higher from the previous close at 41,533.56, while the Nifty was up 49.10 points - or 0.40 per cent - at 12,229.45.
Forty one stocks on the 50-scrip Nifty index moved higher at the time. Top percentage gainers were Yes Bank, UPL, Indian Oil, HCL Tech and NTPC, up between 1.59 per cent and 6.84 per cent.
On the other hand, Power Grid, Bharti Airtel, Infosys, Bharti Infratel and Adani Ports - up between 0.69 per cent and 2.75 per cent - were the top Nifty losers.
ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and HDFC were the top contributors to the gain in Sensex, together accounting for a rise of more than 80 points in the index.
Market breadth turned positive from neutral, with an advance-decline ratio of 2:1. On the BSE, 1,280 stocks traded higher while 715 moved lower. On the NSE, 1,101 stocks advanced while 549 declined at the time.
Analysts say the markets are likely to remain volatile until the government presents the Union Budget on February 1, when it may also unveil more measures to lift growth. They also awaited financial results by large cap companies for cues in the near term.
Bank of Baroda, JSW Steel, UltraTech Cement and ICICI Bank will report their earnings for the quarter ended December 31 this week.
Equities in other Asian markets were sluggish amid thin trade after the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the coronavirus did not yet constitute a global public health emergency. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei was flat.
But worries over rapid spread of the deadly virus kept investors on guard as millions of Chinese travel during the Lunar New Year holiday period.
Trade in Asia is already slowing down for the Lunar New Year holiday, with financial markets in China, Taiwan and South Korea closed on Friday.
Overnight in the US, the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2 per cent to a record closing high, while the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 0.1 per cent.
On Thursday, the Sensex had had ended 271.02 points - or 0.66 per cent - higher at 41,386.40 and the Nifty settled at 12,180.35, up 73.45 points - or 0.61 per cent - from its previous close, as the markets broke a three-day falling spree.