Domestic stock markets started Friday's session on a positive note tracking gains in Asian equities following a technology stocks-led rally in the US. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose as much as 339.39 points - or 0.89 per cent - to touch 38,559.78 in the first hour of trade, after starting the day up 251.54 points at 38,471.93 in a gap-up opening. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed to as high as 11,413.70, up 101.5 points or 0.90 per cent from its previous close. Gains across sectors, led by banking, automobile and energy shares, pushed the markets higher.
At 9:52 am, the Sensex traded 316.06 points - or 0.83 per cent - higher at 38,536.45 while the Nifty was up 94.25 points - also up 0.83 per cent - at 11,406.45.
All of the 50 shares in the Nifty basket moved higher. PowerGrid, Coal India, State Bank of India (SBI), Tata Motors and NTPC - trading between 1.68 per cent and 3.09 per cent higher - were the top percentage gainers in the index.
Analysts say caution prevails among investors on account of rising COVID-19 cases despite recent gains in the markets.
India hurtled toward the 3 million mark for coronavirus cases on Friday, reporting 68,898 new infections in the last 24 hours, data from the health ministry showed. The total number of cases in the country now stands at 2.9 million. (Also Read: COVID-19 - Where Is India Headed?)
Equities in other Asian markets rose on Friday after a technology stocks-driven rally on Wall Street in which the Nasdaq Composite index hit a record high despite downbeat data that affirmed the US central bank's dour outlook on economic recovery.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 1.22 per cent higher, while Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark was up 0.41 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite, Hong Kong's Hang Seng, Singapore's Straits and South Korea's KOSPI indices were up 0.78 per cent, 1.25 per cent, 0.48 per cent and 1.76 per cent respectively.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures traded 0.26 per cent higher, indicating a positive start for Wall Street on Friday, a day after gains in Apple, Amazon.com and Microsoft underpinned a rally in the three main US indices as investors bet the tech giants would ride out the economic crisis.
Minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting gave a somber assessment of the US economy as it grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. The US central bank has ruled out more dovish easing policy measures for now.