The Indian equity benchmarks opened at record highs with Nifty 50 index advancing above its important psychological level of 16,300-mark for the first time ahead of Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy decision due later in the day. The RBI's Monetary Policy Committee is expected to leave interest rates at record lows for a seventh straight meeting and the markets will focus on what it says about normalising liquidity.
As of 9:17 am, the Sensex rose 53 points to 54,545 and Nifty 50 index advanced 23 points to 16,317.
To help the economy through the hard times caused by the pandemic, the RBI has maintained excess rupee liquidity in the banking system with the daily surplus currently exceeding Rs 6 lakh crore.
While most analysts reckon the RBI won't raise interest rates till next year, some expect the RBI to offer some clues as to when it will start reducing liquidity in a commentary that is released after the monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting.
All 61 economists polled by Reuters said they see no change in the repo rate which has been steady at 4 per cent since May last year.
Meanwhile, Asian shares failed to catch a firm lead from a bumper Wall Street session on Friday as the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus across the region heightened worries about the its economic recovery.
Back home, nine of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading higher led by the Nifty PSU Bank index's nearly 1 per cent gain. Rate sensitive Nifty Bank, Private Bank, Realty, Auto and Financial Services indices were trading higher ahead of the RBI's interest rate decision.
On the other hand, IT and Pharma shares were trading with a negative bias.
Broader markets were also witnessing buying interest as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes rose around 0.5 per cent.
IndusInd Bank was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose nearly 3 per cent to Rs 1,025. Indian Oil, Tata Consumer Products, UPL, JSW Steel, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharat Petroleum, NTPC, Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Adani Ports were also among the gainers.
On the flipside, Cipla, HCL Technologies, Shree Cements, Divi's Labs, ITC, Titan, Nestle India, Dr Reddy's Labs, TCS and Reliance Industries were among the laggards.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,734 shares were advancing while 750 were declining on the BSE.