Domestic stock markets started Friday's session on a positive note tracking gains in Asian equities, a day after benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty broke a winning run that lasted for six sessions in a row. The S&P BSE Sensex index climbed up 0.93 per cent - or 314.56 points - to touch 34,295.26 at the strongest level recorded in early deals, having started the day up 217.85 points at 34,198.55. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark rose to as high as 10,127.70, after opening stronger at 10,093.80 compared to Thursday's close of 10,029.10. Gains across most sectors - led by financial, auto, metal and pharmaceutical shares - pushed the markets higher.
At 9:26 am, the Sensex traded 291.85 points - or 0.86 per cent - higher at 34,272.55, while the Nifty was up 93.60 points - or 0.93 per cent - at 10,122.70.
Market breadth was extremely positive, with an advance-decline ratio of 5:1, as 1,152 stocks on the BSE rose against 228 that fell. On the NSE, 1,284 shares advanced while 262 declined.
In the Nifty basket of 50 components, 43 shares moved higher at the time. Top percentage gainers were Tata Motors, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Bharti Infratel, UPL, Hindalco and Sun Phara, trading between 2.28 per cent and 4.52 per cent higher. On the other hand, TCS, Bharat Petroleum and Power Grid, down 1.37 per cent, 0.77 per cent and 0.53 per cent respectively, were the top losers.
Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and HDFC were the top contributors to the gain in Sensex, together accounting for more than 200 points.
Equities in other Asian markets were mixed but set for their biggest weekly rise in over eight years, after European Central Bank (ECB) surprised investors with more stimulus, fuelling hopes for a global rebound.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan last seen trading 0.12 per cent higher, whereas Japan's Nikkei 225 index was down 0.35 per cent at the time. While China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng indices were down 0.24 per cent and 0.06 per cent respectively, South Korea's KOSPI benchmark was up 0.70 per cent.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures were up 0.36 per cent in early Asian trade, indicating a positive start for US markets on Friday.
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indices ended 0.34 per cent and 0.69 per cent lower respectively, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.05 per cent.
On Thursday, the S&P BSE Sensex had ended 128.84 points - or 0.38 per cent - lower at 33,980.70, and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark settled at 10,029.10, down 32.45 points - or 0.32 per cent - from the previous close.