The Indian equity benchmarks extended gains in afternoon trading on the back of buying interest in banking and financial servies shares. The benchmarks traded on a flat note in morning trading however buying in banking heavyweights like ICICI Bank, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and State Bank of India lifted the benchmarks to intraday highs. The Sensex rose as much as 273 points to hit an intraday high of 51,804.58 and Nifty 50 index was trading above important psychological level of 15,200. As of 1:23 pm, the Sensex was up 197 points at 51,728 and NIfty rose 46 points to 15,230.
Seven f 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading higher led by the Nifty PSU Bank index's nearly 2 per cent gain. Nifty Private Bank, Bank and Financial Service indexes also rose over a per cent each.
On the other hand, Nifty FMCG index was top loser, down 1.13 per cent. Auto, metal and pharma shares were also facing selling pressure. Small-cap shares were outperforming larger peers by rising over 0.6 per cent.
Adani Ports was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 3.5 per cent to Rs 613. IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, Wipro, HDFC, Tech Mahindra, HDFC Bank and Tata Motors also rose between 0.8-3 per cennt.
On the flipside, ITC was top Nifty loser, the stock dropped 4 per cent to Rs 217 after its profit declined in December quarter. Coal India, Sun Pharma, GAIL, NTPC, Titan, Hindalco and UPL were also among the losers.