The Indian equity benchmarks edged higher on Thursday ahead of weekly expiry of index futures and option contracts later in the day amid firm cues from other Asian markets. Asian shares held firm on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US economy was "still a ways off" from levels the central bank wanted to see before tapering its monetary support. The Sensex rose as much as 140 points and Nifty 50 index was trading firmly above its important psychological level of 15,850.
As of 9:26 am, the Sensex was up 85 points at 53,009 and Nifty 50 index advanced 28 points to 15,882.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed in early trade while Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.4 per cent.
Overnight, Wall Street shares were mixed, with S&P ending 0.12 per cent higher and Nasdaq down 0.22 per cent.
Back home, fifteen of 19 sector gauges compiled by the BSE were trading higher led by the S&P BSE Capital Goods index's nearly 2 per cent gain.
S&P BSE Industrials, Information Technology, Healthcare and Basic Materials indexes also rose between 0.3-1 per cent.
On the other hand, Consumer Durables, Energy, Metal and Oil & Gas indices were trading with a negative bias.
Broader markets were outperforming their larger peers as S&P BSE MidCap index advanced 0.41 per cent and SmallCap index climbed 0.7 per cent.
Larsen & Toubro was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 3.5 per cent to Rs 1,599. HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, UltraTech Cement, Wipro, HDFC Life, Dr Reddy's Labs, HDFC Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Grasim Industries and SBI Life also rose between 0.5-1.5 per cent.
On the flipside, ONGC, Titan, Asian Paints, Maruti Suzuki, Coal India, ITC, NTPC, Hero MotoCorp, Infosys, Nestle India and Bajaj Fiserv were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was extremely positive as 1,761 shares were advancing while 853 were declining on the BSE.