The Sensex edged higher amid choppy trade, a day after official data showed GDP growth rose to 7.7 per cent in January-March quarter. BSE benchmark index Sensex and the NSE Nifty had started Friday's session on a flat note but soon rose as much as 110 points after see-sawing between mild gains and losses. The Nifty rose 23 points to trade above the 10,750 mark. Advances in the indices were led by banking, IT, pharma and auto stocks, with ICICI Bank shares rising nearly 4 per cent. At 9:35 am, the Sensex was trading 38.69 points higher at 35,361 while the Nifty 50 was up 4 points at 10,740.
Twenty seven stocks on the 50-scrip index Nifty were trading in the positive zone. Led by ICICI Bank, top gainers on the Bajaj Auto, Bharat Petroleum, Sun Pharma, Indiabulls Housing Finance and Maruti Suzuki India, trading with gains of between 1.2 per cent and 3.6 per cent.
GDP or gross domestic product growth accelerated to 7.7 per cent in the March quarter - the fastest pace of growth in seven quarters. With that, India retained its position as the world's fastest growing major economy in Q4, well ahead of China. Strong growth in agriculture (4.5 per cent), manufacturing (9.1 per cent) and construction sectors (11.5 per cent) contributed to the overall growth. For the full year (2017-18), GDP expanded at 6.7 per cent, lower than the 7.1 per cent recorded in the previous year.
Asian equities shook off earlier weakness on Friday. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.1 per cent. However, the index was still down roughly 0.6 per cent for a week in which it touched a six-week low on concerns about political developments in Italy. Overnight on Wall Street, equities posted deep losses after the US government said it would impose tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
(With agency inputs)