Domestic stock markets started Friday's session on a positive note, tracking mild gains across Asian equities, as worries about a faltering economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic kept investors to the sidelines. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 220.57 points - or 0.57 per cent - to 38,979.85 at the stronger level in first few minutes of trade. The broader NSE Nifty 50 climbed to as high as 11,584.10, up 68.00 points - or 0.59 per cent - from its previous close, as strong buying interest in pharmaceutical stocks pushed the markets higher.
At 9:19 am, the Sensex traded 176.33 points - or 0.45 per cent - higher at 39,156.18, while the Nifty traded at 11,573.35, up 57.25 points - or 0.50 per cent - from its previous close.
Cipla, Dr Reddy's Sun Pharma, Hindalco and Tech Mahindra, trading between 1.69 pe cent and 4.26 per cent higher, were the top gainers in the 50-scrip Nifty basket.
Hindustan Unilever, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, HDFC Life and Nestle, trading between 0.22 per cent and 1.10 per cent lower, were the top Nifty losers.
Tata Consultancy Services, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank were the top boosts to Sensex.
Shares elsewhere in Asia moved higher cautiously, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan last seen trading up 0.25 per cent, and set to end the week with a gain of more than 1 per cent ahead following two weeks of technology stocks-led losses.
Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark was up 0.03 per cent at the time.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures traded 0.10 per cent lower, indicating a sluggish start for Wall Street on Friday, a day after the benchmark S&P 500 index fell 0.84 per cent following official data showing high levels of weekly jobless claims..
Overnight data showed recovery in the US jobs market stalling amid disappointment that the Federal Reserve made no new monetary easing commitments at its meeting this week.
In contrast to the US central bank, the Bank of England made clear overnight that it is open to further aggressive easing and is looking closely at taking interest rates negative.