The strong rally in Indian stocks continued for a fourth straight day on Friday with the BSE Sensex rising over 150 points in early trade. The broader Nifty traded above the key 5,850 mark and the rupee pulled back below 54.5 to the dollar.
A strong gush of liquidity, over $19 billion and counting so far in 2012, has driven Indian markets to a 19-month high. Hopes that the government will be able to muster majority for the passage of crucial reform bills in Parliament have added to the sentiments.
Global cues have also been supportive. Asian shares edged up today on expectations that a deal will eventually be reached to avoid a U.S. fiscal crisis.
"The UPA seems confident of FDI (retail) vote. Moody's seems confident on India. Goldman has given thumbs up... I don't see any reason for markets to come crashing down from here... there might be a small correction, but that should be seen as an opportunity to buy," market analyst Ambareesh Baliga told NDTV Profit.
The GDP data announcement for the fiscal second quarter ending September might be a key driver for markets today. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said last week that growth was about 5.5 per cent in the three months to the end of September.
The government will release gross domestic product (GDP) data for the quarter at around 11 a.m.
Banking stocks extended their gains with mortgage lender HDFC rising 2.5 per cent and ICICI Bank gaining 1.65 per cent. State Bank of India shares traded 1.3 per cent higher.
On the Nifty 17 of the 50 stocks traded lower. Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto saw profit booking after sharp gains yesterday.
(With inputs from Reuters)