Thirty three stocks on the 50-scrip Nifty index were trading in the positive zone. Top gainers on the index were HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel, ONGC, Tata Steel and Coal India, trading around 1-3 per cent higher each in early deals.
Kotak Mahindra Bank rose 0.6 per cent, HDFC gained 1.1 per cent and Bajaj Holdings went up 0.8 per cent.
Global ratings agency Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday cut India's GDP growth forecast to 7.3 per cent in 2018, from its previous forecast of 7.5 per cent, citing higher oil prices and tighter financial conditions. The agency, however, kept growth expectation for 2019 remains unchanged at 7.5 per cent.
India likely retained the position of world's fastest growing major economy in the January-March quarter, surpassing China's growth of 6.8 per cent, driven by gains in manufacturing and consumer spending. The median in a Reuters poll on the latest quarter's annual growth was 7.3 per cent, the best pace since July-September 2016, the quarter before the government unexpectedly scrapped high-value currency notes. Forecasts for January-March ranged from 6.9 to 7.7 per cent.
The euro enjoyed a respite after sinking to its lowest in 10 months as political turmoil in Italy that had roiled global financial markets showed signs of easing. Stocks in Italy, the epicentre of the latest global market tumult, bounced back 2.1 per cent on Wednesday. But it had given up all the gains made in 2018. Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.25 per cent and the S&P 500 climbed 1.27 per cent.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) had net sold shares worth Rs. 1,286.91 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) net purchased shares worth Rs. 492.46 crore on Wednesday, according to provisional data from the NSE.
(With agency inputs)