The Indian equity benchmarks extended gains on Thursday ahead of weekly expiry of index futures and option contracts on the back of broad-based buying interest amid positive cues from other Asian markets. The Sensex rose as much as 519 points and Nifty 50 index was trading above its important psychological level of 17,300.
As of 11:25 am, the Sensex was up 485 points at 58,169 and Nifty 50 index advanced 147 points to 17,314.
Asian shares edged higher in choppy trading helped by advances in Chinese real estate shares, though fears about the Omicron variant of the new coronavirus capped gains regionally.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.2 per cent, boosted by Chinese blue chips up 0.25 per cent and Hong Kong up 0.2 per cent.
However, Japan's Nikkei lost 0.6 per cent, and all three main Wall Street benchmarks fell more than 1 per cent overnight as a global rally petered out as news about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus turned negative.
Back home, buying was visible across the board as all the 19 sector gauges, barring the measure of realty shares, compiled by BSE were trading higher led by the S&P BSE Oil & Gas index's 1.3 per cent gain. Power, Consumer Durables, Utilities, Basic Materials, Energy, Healthcare and telecom indices also rose between 0.5-1.2 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also witnessing buying interest as S&P BSE MidCap index rose 0.43 per cent and S&P BSE SmallCap index advanced 0.6 per cent.
Power Grid was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 3.3 per cent to Rs 213.95. Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil, Shree Cement, Titan, Grasim, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC, NTPC and Sun Pharma also rose between 1.3-3 per cent.
On the flipside, Axis Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Larsen & Toubro, IndusInd Bank, Adani Ports, Hindalco, Tata Motors, HCL Technologies, Hero MotoCorp and Tech Mahindra were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was extremely positive as 1,837 shares were advancing while 812 were declining on the BSE.