Domestic stock markets started Friday's session on a higher note, after two days of losses. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose as much as 142.42 points to 39,123.85 in early trade, and the broader NSE Nifty moved to 11,759.95, up 35.2 points from the previous close. Gains in banking, financial services and energy stocks supported the markets, however weakness in information technology stocks kept the upside in check. At 9:47 am, the Sensex traded 90.88 points higher at 39,072.31, while the Nifty was up 13.55 points at 11,738.30.
Tata Motors, Bharti Infratel, Bharti Airtel, ONGC and Maruti Suzuki India, trading between 1.25 per cent and 2.56 per cent higher, were the top gainers on the 50-scrip index at the time.
HDFC, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries contributed the most to the advances on Sensex.
India's economy appears to have slowed down slightly in 2018-19, the Department of Economic Affairs said in its economic report for March. The factors responsible for this slowdown include declining growth of private consumption, tepid increase in fixed investment, and muted exports, it noted.
In the report released on Thursday, the department also said the current account deficit as a percentage of GDP is set to fall in the fourth quarter of financial year 2018-19, which will limit the leakage of growth impulse from the economy. GDP growth is expected to be around 6.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, and 7 per cent for FY19, while fiscal deficit is seen at 3.4 per cent of GDP, it noted.
Equities in other Asian markets were subdued amid light trading volumes with the China and Japan markets still closed for holidays. Australia's benchmark index was last up 0.2 per cent, New Zealand shares were off 0.5 per cent while South Korea's KOSPI slipped 0.3 per cent.
Overnight on Wall Street, major indexes gave up initial gains and closed in the red, weighed down by energy shares.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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